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Two-Lane Roads in Johnston County Seem To Attract Fatal Accidents

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JOHNSTON COUNTY — You are four times as likely to die on two-lane roads than major interstates. In Johnston County, there are miles and miles of two lane roads.

More and more people are driving them, and it's a situation that gets more dangerous every day.

Since Jan. 1, eight people have been killed in accidents in Johnston County. Fourteen have been killed since Christmas.

John Love saw something he did not want to see Sunday. Three men died in front of his house when their new sport utility vehicle smashed into a tree.

Love and many other people in Johnston County believe the traffic is quickly outgrowing the road system.

Twenty-five percent of residents, one in four, has moved here since 1990. As people have moved in, the accident rate has gone up.

Just this year, an elderly woman died in a crash near Benson. Another driver died in Selma. Three weeks ago, four people died in a head-on collision north of Clayton.

The highway patrol says that while every crash happens for a different reason, more people almost always means more wrecks.

"Big increase in the volume of traffic. A lot of people are going to Raleigh or RTP or Durham to work. They go to work in the morning, and of course, in the afternoons, they have got to come home the same way," said Line Sgt. Cameron Taylor of the highway patrol.

People who have lived here a while know that the traffic is not going away. Some are asking for lower speed limits.

Others want newcomers to the area to slow down until the roads can handle the increased load.

"Even when I'm on the road driving the speed limit, they fly by me. And they tailgate. They're bad about that," said resident Dorothy Thibaudeau.

People in the area do say that the roads are not necessarily to blame for all this. The highway patrol says that almost always it is the fault of the folks in the car.