Drivers Warned of Speed Limit Drop Through Southside in Independence Co.

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SOUTHSIDE, Ark. – Drivers will soon pump the brakes when they travel on State Highway 167. The speed limit has been lowered in Southside, a small city in Independence County. 

The ARDOT says after a traffic study, the state decided to lower the speed limit by 10 miles per hour. 

Southside Mayor Ray Bowman says he’s witnessed bad wrecks in that area, “we’ve had two fatality this past year.” 

After a lengthy traffic study, the state recently changed the speed limit to 45 miles an hour, from 55. 

“We didn’t know what their final decisions was until the second day of January. That’s when they started putting the signs up, so we said, okay, it went through,” Bowman said. 

Some drivers, like Martin Jones, say it’s much needed, “you have Mark Martin here and you have a lot of people who think they can be racers too.” 

Bowman says others aren’t happy about the change, “I’ve lived here all my life and it’s hard to drive that 45, I’ll be the first to tell you, but it adds 24 seconds to the drive.” 

He says this isn’t about cashing in on tickets and it’s strictly for safety. 

He says he’s pumping the breaks on what could happen. 

“The next person to get hurt may be me, somebody I care about, or someone else cares about. We want it to be safe.” 

The Independence County Sheriff’s Office monitors that road. It’s only a 2 miles stretch of highway that’s been changed. 

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