Decatur residents push for lower speed limits, road improvements after teen’s death

A group of Decatur residents is pushing for more traffic safety measures on city streets. This comes after a number of incidents involving pedestrians this year, one of which was fatal.

"Our goal would be zero fatalities on our roads," Decatur resident Laura Spriggs told FOX 5.

Spriggs, who has been a resident of Decatur for more than a decade, said it’s not unusual to see people old and young making use of the city’s sidewalks.

"People love to walk in Decatur. We’re only four-square miles, so being able to get around on your feet really makes sense."

With that sense, she told FOX 5 tragedy has struck the community more than once in recent months.

Police arrested and charged a 38-year-old driver, Alrahman Heath, for hitting a crossing guard and fleeing the scene of the collision in September.

On. Nov. 6, drivers hit four pedestrians in separate incidents. The youngest of the victims was a 16-year-old boy who later died at the hospital.

"Both of those incidents were right here on College," Spriggs recalled. "When the young boy was killed, it was heartbreaking. My daughter is 15," she added.

Spriggs told FOX 5 that’s when she and other members of a group called "Calm Decatur" started a petition pushing for additional traffic safety measures on city streets.

So far, it has more than 700 signatures.

"We’d like to see the speed limit lowered, better crosswalks, more crosswalks, better signage and just better overall infrastructure," Spriggs explained.

The group is also advocating for wider sidewalks in school zones.

"Our largest pedestrian population is students," she stated.

Spriggs said while city leaders have taken steps to put some additional safety measures in place, making changes to state-maintained roads like College Avenue has been a bigger challenge.

FOX 5 reached out to Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and city officials to find out what plans to make safety improvements to city streets, if any, are in the works. We’re still waiting to hear back.