Patrols will be increasing on Route 48 from Raymond to Decatur over the next month as police continue to tighten down on speeders and distracted drivers after fatalities have increased. A committee meeting that was joined by State Representative Avery Bourne, US Representative Rodney Davis, a Representative for State Senator Doris Turner, Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp, multiple law enforcement officers, Mayors, and even a spokesperson from IDOT were on hand with the Illinois State Police to discuss what they saw as issues or problems with IL Route 48.
The Illinois State Police got with IDOT to go over the last ten years and in that ten year period-from 2010-2020, records show that there were 278 property damage crashes, roughly 100 injury crashes and 8 fatalities in that ten year period. So far in 2021 there have already been four fatalities on that stretch of highway which were not included in that ten year plan.
US Representative Rodney Davis says that these gatherings are important because small groups is how Route 29 became 4 lanes.
Multiple issues were brought up concerning Route 48. Some of the issues that were brought up included distracted driving, tired driving, the road conditions being horrible, the road having drainage issue problems when it rains heavily, and the roads being too narrow to begin with.
Representative Davis says that one of the biggest issues of course will be cost if they do want to try to switch to a four lane highway.
A representative from the Illinois State Police said that he had patrolled the area quite heavily and during his time patrolling didn’t see very many speeders but saw an awful lot of distracted drivers, and tired drivers.
The general consensus in the meeting was better education in the area high schools on driving safer and with less distractions, increased patrols on Route 48, and a review in a few months to see if those changes have helped decrease the amount of accidents on the highway.