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Politics & Government

Dewey Beach's speed limit is getting reduced

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Slow down next time you head through Dewey Beach, the speed limit is changing.

 

While the town of Dewey Beach may be small, Route 1 runs right through it, and used to reach other parts of the Delaware and Maryland beaches.

 

City officials say the change is meant to improve safety, and note a slower speed limit can limit the severity of accidents that occur.

 

Police Chief Sam Mackert says reducing the speed limit down to 25 miles per hour from 30 throughout the town is a needed change.

 

“The slower a vehicle is travelling if there is an accident, the less severity of the accident,” said Mackert. “Whatever we can do to make Route 1 out there safer because we have cars, trucks, bicyclists, pedestrians, children, adults, I'm in favor of it.”

 

Dewey Beach commissioners agreed the speed reduction is necessary, noting the high volume of pedestrian traffic in the summer months, and even in the off season, with events like trick-or-treating.

 

Mackert emphasizes he doesn’t want this change to turn Dewey Beach into a speed trap, adding police will be lenient for a short period after the change, and won’t up their current levels of speed enforcement.

 

 He adds it’ll be important to make people aware of the change.

 

“Just like the pedestrians, the yellow lights when DelDOT implemented them — big big education, big media push to let folks know what’s taking place and to be alert,” he said.

 

Mackert would like to get a few speed cameras, as well as temporary signs to alert people about the new speed limits.

 

The new rules head to DelDOT for approval. Once that’s received, DelDOT will handle changing speed limit signage.

 

Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

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