Comm'r asks for safety measures

- For more than six months, the speed limit on US Highway 67 south has been 75. The speed limit on that highway between San Angelo and Mertzon, along with others in West Texas, was increased by state lawmakers during the 2012 session.
Now, with increased oil field production, some local officials are asking for safety measures.

"Going to 7 miles per hour was, I think, not a smart move," stated Irion County Commissioner, Precinct 3 John Nanny.

John Nanny has been a Irion County Commissioner for almost 20 years. He said the speed hike is contributing to increased fatalities and collisions. Last year, there were two deaths and a total of 79 crashes in Irion County. In the past six months, there have already been 65 crashes and two deaths.

"It overburden us. Whereas we used to make say... 15 - 20 calls a year... we're getting more than that a month," stated Nanny. Nanny opposed the speed limit increase in 2012 and now wants to see a traffic signal on the east side of Mertzon.

"You feel like you're letting the people down. You wanna do things; but, you're limited. You can't," continued Nanny.

In a statement Monday, TXDOT officials said the majority of crashes that are review(ed) are due to distracted or fatigued drivers, drivers traveling in excess of the posted speed limit, and impatient drivers closer to San Angelo on US Highway 67, the Twin Mountain Steakhouse owner, Jorge Rivero, said he sees collisions constantly near his restaurant.

"Just almost everyday something has happened. Obviously, we know about that car wreck last Saturday; but, I think the following day there was another one... and there was another one after that," explained Rivero.

Nanny said he wants to add more traffic signals in Mertzon to save more lives.

"I would see more and better warning lights," finished Nanny. 

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