LEXINGTON, S.C. — Residents in Lexington want to know why overhead flashers have been shut off near a busy intersection off of Highway 378.
Jim Lattimore reached out to Street Squad to find out why the overhead flashers off of Highway 378 near Charter Oak Road had been shut off.
These flashers are used to warn drivers when a traffic light signal up ahead will be turning red.
Not too long ago, Lattimore noticed the lights didn’t work anymore.
“The traffic intersection at Hendrix’s Crossing on 378, one of the busiest sections on 378, they disconnected the blinking lights to warn you when you got to the traffic light,” said Lattimore.
Hendrix’s Crossing is home to Publix, Doctor’s Care and several other businesses in the area.
Lattimore wants to understand why they shut the light off at this intersection rather than less traveled areas on the highway. He says it’s difficult to stop at this intersection since people tend to travel around 50 miles per hour in this area.
“If you’re driving the speed limit and that light changes, you either got to do one or two things. You’ve got to run it or slam on the breaks. With a blinking light, you’re warned,” explained Lattimore.
Lattimore says he would like to see the lights turn back on unless there’s a good reason.
“Unless there’s a valid explanation why they don’t need them. Why did they need them for 30 years and why do they need them at the other two intersections,” asked Lattimore.
There are other places on Hwy 378 where the overhead flashers are still up and operating.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation says they've been working on a new light system.
A spokesperson says they've added solar flashers on the side of the road to indicate that a stop light is ahead. The new solar flashers constantly blink, but do not indicate when the light ahead will be changing signal.
An SCDOT official indicated that not having the overhead flashers have helped slow down the area because people would start to speed once they would see the yellow light blinking.
At this time, they say they’ve seen fewer accidents since they’ve disconnected the overhead lights.
The reason why they’ve let the current disconnected lights stay up is because they may use them again if they find more wrecks do occur.
SCDOT says they’re leaving some of the overhead lights up and running to compare data. They say this new system is still being tested and if they see less wrecks are occurring, they'll continue to use it.
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