Board passes speed change: Sandy Creek Drive area now a school zone

Attention motorists traveling along Sandy Creek Drive in Seymour near Sandy Creek Christian Academy: You are now entering a school zone.

The Jackson County Commissioners recently passed two ordinances to control the speed limit in that area.

The first one amends a section of an ordinance establishing the speed limit of 30 mph on the county’s stretch of the road, which goes from city limits near the Eastside Industrial Park to the CSX Railroad tracks.

County attorney Susan Bevers said Jackson County Highway Superintendent Jerry Ault recently drove the area and noticed 30 mph signs already are up along the road. Neither of them could find an ordinance where the city had established the speed limit, which is the same for streets within city limits.

The other ordinance establishes a 25 mph speed limit near the school at 5707 N. Sandy Creek Drive.

Ault indicated the section of the road where he thought it was appropriate to post school zone signs. That was based on where the school is located and the characteristics of the road.

Commissioners President Matt Reedy presented the first reading of both ordinances, and then asked to accept them on second reading and waive the third reading so the speed limits could be in effect.

Since Sandy Creek Christian Academy moved from Indianapolis Avenue in downtown Seymour to Sandy Creek Drive at the beginning of the year, school officials and parents decided something needed to be done to slow down traffic in the area with the presence of more than 170 children.

In July, Lorne Coffey, a member of the school’s alumni board whose children attend the school, attended a commissioners meeting to request a change in the speed limit near the school and put up school zone signs.

During that meeting, Coffey told commissioners when he goes there to pick up his children, people drive excessively over the speed limit.

He said children play outside in front of the building, which is near the road.

“It would take just one time for somebody to lose control or have an accident and come up through the yard of the school and possibly injure a child,” he told commissioners.

Commissioner Bob Gillaspy said the area gets a lot of traffic coming from those working in the Eastside Industrial Park, who use Sandy Creek Drive to get to Tipton Street or U.S. 50.

Now that the school zone is set near Sandy Creek Christian Academy, Bevers said there are a couple of other areas where schools are along county roads.

Cortland Elementary School is at 6687 N. County Road 400E, and St. John’s Lutheran School-Sauers is at 1058 S. County Road 460E.

Bevers said if commissioners want to look at establishing school zones near those schools, they could get with Ault to determine the distances of where to place signage.