Speed limit drops on section of the bypass

By on May 16, 2012

Sam Walker photo

Decreases in the speed limit on several roads are being posted this week, including a reduction on U.S. 158 in portions of Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head.

New signs went up Wednesday along the bypass from the Wright Brothers Memorial to Villa Dunes Drive, changing the speed limit to 45 mph.

Kill Devil Hills leaders initially petitioned for the speed from the Memorial through “French Fry Alley” to drop to 35 mph, but the NCDOT agreed with just a five mile per hour reduction.

The request came after a fatal accident last fall at the busy intersection of Ocean Bay Boulevard, Colington Road, and Croatan Highway.

Kill Devil Hills commissioner Mike Hogan said that years ago, during a discussion of lowering the speed limit to 35 mph, the concern was that an abrupt change from 50 mph could cause an “accordion effect” of more backups and accidents.

Nags Head commissioners asked the reduction be extended to the southern end of the school zone near Nags Head Elementary.

The speed limit has also been decreased to 35 mph on Colington Road from the Croatan Highway intersection.

On Monday, speeds were reduced to 35 mph along Duck Road/N.C. 12 from Sandy Ridge Road to the Currituck/Dare line.

“(O)ur staff went out and marked sign locations and got everything together so the crews could begin work this week,” wrote NCDOT Division One deputy traffic engineer Jason Davidson in an email to Kill Devil Hills officials.

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September 2, 2012 3:40 pm

Make it mandatory for locals to travel on Beach Road and change the speed limit on the Bypass to 150mph.


July 13, 2012 11:09 pm

The 5mph reduction through that section will lengthen trip times only by a couple of minutes. I find it hard to believe that some are so worked up over it. If it just a little less dangerous after the change, it will be worth it.

Laura Eichbaum

May 22, 2012 9:00 pm

This will make a big difference between surviving a side-impact crash where the driver is doing 55 (the usuaul 5 over the limit) and 50. What it should have also been was a SEASONAL speed limit like they have in Delaware from the week before Memorial day until Labor Day.


May 21, 2012 1:08 pm

Now the tourist will think its ok to drive 25 mph in the left lane.


May 21, 2012 11:49 am

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. Then the speed limit jumps to 50 at the new Lowes. Just a speed trap to increase revenue. Higher taxes, no raises, lower speed limits, higher prices. Harder and harder to make it down here!


May 21, 2012 11:07 am

Joe, check your facts before you spew untrue facts. All monies from citations go to the State of NC, not any local municipalities.

Common sense

May 18, 2012 6:56 pm

Charlie, a person was killed because a drunk driver ran a flashing RED light. A red light – flashing or not – means stop. The Town is not going to spend the money to hire, or train, someone to fix the lights. And DOT is not going to add an employee to monitor the lights on the Outer Banks.


May 18, 2012 6:13 pm

Can anyone say speed trap? At least the town will be able to generate more revenues in fines. Maybe that can be given to the County for Sand.


May 18, 2012 3:51 pm

A better solution would have been putting bailout lanes so people could move off the 2 lanes and turn safely. AND a person was killed because DOT dead lights can not be controlled manually by police. Fix that and save lives.

DOT? are you listening?


May 18, 2012 10:36 am

Heck, you cant get above 45 anyway in that area during the summer months. Often times, traffic speeds is quicker on the Beach Road than Bypass.

All in all, do not really see much of a change here, as you will be “lucky” to hit 50 mph on that stretch of the bypass during the busy season anyway.


May 18, 2012 8:55 am

unfortunately, slowing people down doesn’t make them better drivers…


May 18, 2012 8:19 am

Great, send more cars over to Beach Rd where folks carelessly wander around with their strollers, bikes, beach carts, what have you.


May 18, 2012 7:38 am

Then lets get rid of too many driveways and businesses accessing the HighWay. Simple fix. The people here just don’t want to accept that this isn’t a quaint 1980′s place anymore they they moved to.

Example, Watch the morons pull out of MCDonalds and then pull into 7-11. Why are those parking lots not connected? Why are they open to the Hwy when they both have access to a light?

There are better problems to fix than the speed limit.


May 18, 2012 7:36 am

Happy, the lowering of the speed limit in northern Duck is done by the NCDOT. The Town didn’t ask for the change nor does it have a say in the matter.

another point

May 18, 2012 7:34 am

To Driver: You actually bring up another point. Why don’t they jail DUIS instead of a slap on the wrist — need more jail cells, most personnel to man them, which means more taxes. And well . . . we know how that goes !


May 18, 2012 7:21 am

What are the moped rules? I am seeing more and more of them on the bypass and just like the beach road, they create a hazard when they refuse to pull to the right. Will we see more now even though it is very modest drop in speed limit?

KDH Resident

May 18, 2012 7:13 am

Why can’t the DOT paint “NO MERGING” in the middle turn lane so perhaps some of the tourists might realize how it’s meant to be used?? Seems like a simple and cheap way to get the word out…..

I’ve been wanting to see the speed reduced for years and am happy to see that it’s finally been done. I just wish they’d made it 35 in the really congested areas such as hamburger alley.

Mike Kerr

May 18, 2012 5:20 am

Bravo. Speed limits have been changed. Now, have the traffic signals been resynchronized to reflect the speed limit change? If that hasn’t been done, then all the speed limit change will do is cause even more chaos.

Something else to ponder… Do you think the speed limit change will reduce or increase accidents? My money is on the fact that, in one year’s time, accidents will increase and so will the income for the towns from law enforcement citing people for exceeding the speed. How many accidents or “near-misses” has everyone witnessed because a driver saw a small opening in traffic for them to cut through to make their turn? With that question in mind, ask yourself what will occur from slowing the speed limit down in one of the most already congested areas on the main beach? You compact traffic, with no synchronized traffic light, making the windows of opportunity smaller to make safer turns onto side streets across the bypass. Impatience creates a feeling of desperation which causes much more risky driving.

I personally would like to see the previous 5 years of statistics for accidents on that stretch of road where the new speed limit is in place and then in one calendar year’s time, see the statistics of tickets and accidents effected by this new limit.


May 17, 2012 8:47 pm

This change has been needed for a long time. The bypass cannot be considered a highway anymore — there is too much traffic, too many driveways, too many businesses, too many pedestrians and bicyclists.


May 17, 2012 8:30 pm

You want to reduce accidents? How about making yellow light last 3-5 seconds longer? I cant tell you how many time I have been doing the speed limit, and the light changes yellow, and I have to stand on my brake pedal to stop in time. Especially when I am pulling a trailer. this probably is the cause of a lot of rear end wrecks. Why are yellow lights so short around here?


May 17, 2012 8:26 pm

Why in the hell would lowering the speed limit to 45 have anything to do an accident, caused by a drunk and an signal out, with no police around? Morons trying to cover up the fact they screwed up.


May 17, 2012 8:23 pm

Let’s get real. I drive every day from Kitty Hawk to Nags Head, and have for more than 20 years.

If you can get up to 45 in the summer it’s unusual. So lowering the speed limit doesn’t hurt anyone, and it might save a life. The slower limit might help someone from hitting one of the nuts trying to cross on foot.

That makes it a good thing.

I choose to drive the beach road in the summer anyway…to avoid the crazies.


May 17, 2012 6:57 pm

What will really keep the drunk drivers off the road is a court system that supports the police when they arrest a drunk driver. Instead it is just a slap on the wrist and a pat on the head, “Please don’t do this anymore.”
There are more drivers out there who have a one too many than anyone on this beach would care to admit. It is time that the courts start punishing these people instead of forgiving them.


May 17, 2012 6:57 pm

The lower speed limits isn’t just to keep drunks from running red lights.

The lower speed limit will keep drunks from running broken red lights that the police choose not to direct traffic at.


May 17, 2012 6:17 pm

45 means people will top out at 50, which is still pretty fast. Kinetic energy goes up as a square of velocity, so 5mph really does make a big difference in a crash, and even more so when a car hits a pedestrian.


May 17, 2012 6:00 pm

Nags Head did it too. southern shores and Duck does it all the time. The bypass can’t be viewed as a highway anymore. I felt the speed needed to be reduced long before it happened — and not just because of drunks.


May 17, 2012 5:13 pm

This is further proof that so many folks really get terminally stupid when they get elected to public office.

BS reporting

May 17, 2012 3:31 pm

Stop regurgitating the KDH Town Council’s smoke and mirrors! The change was asked of NCDOT way BEFORE the latest Drunk Driver collision.

Stop allowing these Politicians the appearance of caring. They had nothing to do with the change in speed, nor did the latest death-causing-drunk-driver.


May 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Dropping the speed limit 5 mph will do nothing for safety unless the cops enforce it… truthfully, if the police enforced the 50 MPH that was originally there, it would have been just fine to leave it alone. Most people will still cruise through at 49 – 52 MPH, signs or not. I am not a big fan of police over doing it, but the problem is with locals and/or tourists driving carelessly (stopping in the middle of the lane of travel, jamming on brakes, running red lights, etc.), nothing to do with the rate of speed…. just my opinion


May 17, 2012 2:09 pm

Maybe a highway message board displaying the new speed for a few weeks would help locals and others be aware of the new speed. I drove through this morning and didnt notice the new signs.

Prince of Peeps

May 17, 2012 1:27 pm

This move brought to you by the same logic that frisks children and old ladies at the airport to make you safer.


May 17, 2012 1:26 pm

Who knows if this will work. All I can say is that the track record of NCDOT isn’t that great. The only way to fix the traffic issues is to remove the people rubbernecking. This means we’d have to get rid of our meal tickets, the tourons.


May 17, 2012 10:29 am

Really dumb. This will make the biggest bottleneck on the island an even bigger bottleneck.


May 17, 2012 9:21 am

Way to go KDH changing the speed limit will keep all those drunk divers out there from driving and causing accidents. All you have done is made a cluster muck area worse than it already was. lets see how many accidents that causes. Should have thought about makeing drunk driving laws better instead


May 17, 2012 8:45 am

I would put my money on traffic getting worse and possibly more accidents resulting from it.


May 17, 2012 8:41 am

One of the most stupid things ever, this is being based on a traffic accident were a drunk driver ran a red light. How is dropping the speed limit going to stop drunk drivers from running red lights!?


May 17, 2012 8:38 am

That intersection has had more than one fatality, I think they all involved alcohol! SOOOOOO making everyone slow down will do what? IT will cause a cluster muck aaaaallllll summer long, What a bunch of BOZO’S! Wanna bet the cops already got their RADAR OUT AN READY! (control freaks)


May 17, 2012 8:05 am

how about fixing traffic lights when they are down?


May 17, 2012 8:04 am

I just don’t see what a 5 MPH speed reduction will change.


May 17, 2012 7:46 am

The move was much needed. Every few feet there are driveways. Even a 5 mph reduction will help make it a bit safer.

Frank Moore

May 17, 2012 5:46 am

And this brillant move will save/cause how many accidents ?

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