WilCo Sheriff: 'Slow down' on 183!
AUSTIN, Texas - "We've had accident after accident after accident," said Anthony Wagner who lives north of Liberty Hill in a subdivision off of 183.
Wagner says his neighborhood is not out in the country anymore -- drivers need to ease off the gas pedal and the neighborhoods need some turning lanes.
"You're just hoping that the people behind you actually see your turn signal. Usually they don't until the last minute. And then they whip around you," Wagner said.
Two weeks ago a 4-vehicle collision at 183 and Christine Lane left 2 people dead.
Wagner says he had just been through that intersection next to his neighborhood minutes before.
"I wish I could say I was surprised but no one in the neighborhood was really surprised. With the way that the highway is set up, they did just lower the speed limit to 65 but we haven't seen any great response from that," Wagner said.
So Wagner reached out to Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody. And Chody is getting a little help from his friends: State Troopers, area police officers and WilCo deputies began an initiative Monday morning to make sure drivers know to slow down on the stretch of 183 north of Seward Junction and all the way to the county line. And also to move over when you see emergency vehicles.
"In reality we've had a lot of collisions since January 2017. We've had 24 collisions in this 12 to 14 mile stretch. Many of them have been fatalities," Chody said.
Sheriff Chody says TXDot dropped the speed limit to 65 about a month ago. There are electronic marquees reminding drivers they can't go as fast anymore.
After the 4-day initiative began Monday morning Chody tweeted one driver was clocked doing 96 in a 65 mile per hour zone.
We saw officers issuing warnings and citations all morning.
"One of those, actually just a few moments ago, was a drunk driver...so we're ridding this community of drunk drivers at this time in the day, it's ridiculous," Chody said.
Wagner says he and his neighbors are glad the Sheriff is helping out and he's hoping it will work.
"...have a huge impact. And I'm hoping to see it repeat as needed. And what I'm hearing from the WilCo Sheriff's Department is 'it's going to,'" Wagner said.
"Our message is to slow down and pay attention because this is a dangerous area when people are speeding and not paying attention," Chody said.
Chody says the initiative lasts until Thursday but they will keep it going as needed.