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Speeding and Tag Axles

E-mail to Chesapeake from Ray Renaud about Speeding and Tag Axles on April 29, 2009

On Monday I was approached by several residents about speeding, unsafe driving practices and excessive dust on Route 89.They told me that they were going to stop the speeding trucks to try to impress upon them the need to drive safely and in a manner to protect the health and safety of the residents. I cautioned them about stopping the trucks, and told them they were liable for any damages caused by an accident involving the stopped vehicles. I asked them to let me see if I could come up with a better solution by talking to Chesapeake and requesting a Chesapeake vehicle be placed in the Calvert Hill area to observe and warn the speeding drivers. They agreed to let me try this approach. I then called Chesapeake and went over the plan with them.

On Tuesday I was informed that the vehicles were still speeding and there was no Chesapeake supervisor on the road. They told me that they were now going to stop the speeders. I cautioned them again and gave them my word that I would be out to observe and document the situation. They agreed. I contacted Ed Wade, and we measured a 152 foot speed measurement strip on Calvert Hill. We then setup my video equipment and proceeded to time and record the vehicles. I uploaded the raw unedited video to YouTube. I will edit and annotate the videos for my presentation later.

 The video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMU5VkwEFJI contains the following scenes:

         A black pickup truck going East and up Calvert Hill. The pickup was travelling at 74 MPH over the measured strip. The same truck was observed trying to pass other contractors going West on Monday. We observed about 6 contractor pickups, until the rain started. Their speeds were between 50 and 65 MPH.

         On the way back to my house we let a maroon SUV, with lights on top pass us, and followed him doing 55 MPH on CR-3 and driving on the wrong side of the road around the blind turns. We could not make out the state on the plate but the tag number is 8MU-654.

         The last scene is of a loaded water truck running with his rear tag axle off the road. The purpose of the tag axle is to spread the weight of the load over a wider area to minimize road damage.