Two deadly crashes have travelers on edge

BROKLAND, Ark. (KAIT) – Two deadly crashes on Highway 49 have drivers concerned for their safety.

One of the crashes happened Tuesday in Paragould. The other crash occurred Wednesday in Brookland.

In February, the Arkansas Department of Transportation lowered the speed limit from 60 mph to 50 mph along Highway 49 in Brookland to combat speeders and minimize the number of crashes.

Residents feel the speed limit needs to be lowered even more as the number of crashes continues along the highway.

“There is just a lot of traffic, and it is getting busier all the time,” said Dustin Bellers, who travels Highway 49 daily. “Mainly during school hours and when people are getting off of work.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16-24-year-olds are observed using a handheld electronic device more than any other age group.

The study also found that in 2019, drivers 15 – 19 years old comprised 9% of those killed in vehicle crashes while driving distracted.

“People aren’t paying attention. They are going too fast. They get in a big hurry,” said Roselea Todd who lives in Paragould and travels to Jonesboro daily. “People are on their phones, and they aren’t thinking about what they are doing.”

Speeding not only puts you at risk but others on the road as well.

“People have kids in their car, and you just want to keep them safe,” said Bellers. “So, just slowing down and paying attention will be the most important thing you can do.”

Texting while driving is not only dangerous but also illegal.

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