Lower speed, safer drivers needed on dangerous Versailles Road

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To the editor:
I am writing out of concern for a growing problem in the eastern end of Anderson County.
Specifically, I am referring to the ever-growing amount of apparent careless driving that is occurring just east of city limits in the stretch Versailles Road that runs between the entrance of Hunter Ridge subdivision through the area near the Wild Turkey Distillery.
Not too many months ago two lives were lost in a tragic head-on collision near Lock Road. It’s hard to say how many lives were affected by the loss of these two lives.
Just this past Friday afternoon another horrific collision occurred near the entrance of Starhill Way.
These are but two public reminders of the dangerous stretch of highway that is heavily traveled on a daily basis.
For those of us who live in or near this area, there are many other accounts of near misses that the public likely never hears about.
My family and I have lived in the Versailles Road area for approximately 35 years. It’s a great place to live in many ways; as it’s near city limits but far out enough to feel as though you have a little bit of privacy.
Furthermore, being as close as we are to Woodford County, a trip to Lexington is just minutes away.
However we are growing more and more weary of traveling to and from our homes each day. Years ago, my mother was rear-ended by a dump truck as she was waiting to turn into her driveway. This accident resulted in some lasting back and neck injuries, but could have been worse.
Although my wife and I have been fortunate thus far in that we haven’t been in any accidents, we have had our share of near misses. On more than one occasion I’ve had people pass me on the passenger side of the road as I’m turning into mine or my parents’ driveway. For those of you who know the area, you probably realize that means someone is actually getting off the pavement and into the grass just to pass us instead of waiting for us to turn.
I have also had a few occasions in which I’ve had to accelerate instead of turning in to either of the aforementioned driveways because the vehicle coming up behind me is going so fast that they would plow into me had I not done so.
The last time this occurred, my child, who was in the back seat, became very frightened by the action of us having to accelerate so quickly and due to the screeching tires of the car rapidly approaching us from behind. My mother has even had other vehicles pass her on her left as she’s attempting to turn left into her own driveway. Had she not been paying attention, she would have turned directly into the other vehicle.
These are only a few instances of accidents or near misses in the Versailles Road area just outside of city limits. My guess is that many of my neighbors, as well as the residents of Starhill Estates and Macland Road, could recount similar instances in their own lives. As with nearly every residential area in Anderson County, these areas are populated with families both young and old, as well as a number of businesses. Ultimately, they are all potential victims of what is seemingly an increasing amount of careless driving.
Accidents happen every day and often times there are no ways to prevent such things from occurring. However, I would like to see more done to ensure the safety of the many passengers who travel Versailles Road (and any other road for that matter) on a daily basis. I believe it starts with individual drivers. Please, for the sake of your own safety and of those around you, pay attention to the simple task of operating your vehicle. By the time you’re well into adulthood, driving becomes second nature and something many of us take for granted. We seem to forget that we are operating a few thousand pounds at an accelerated speed of what should be no more than 55 mph (at least in the area I have written about).
A minor miscalculation can lead to tragedy in mere seconds.
Please check your speed in residential areas. Please watch for other vehicles that could be braking at some point or another. Please use turn signals and in doing so, give those around you enough time to respond.
I also would like to see the speed limit changed in the area I have referred to in this letter to 45 mph, as well as the placement of more caution signs that would hopefully trigger more drivers to be aware of the dangerous curves and hills on this short stretch of highway. Furthermore, I would like to see the area patrolled more often by county and state law enforcement.
I know those individuals have many areas to patrol and many other duties that take up their workdays. However, I would think that the recent trends in accidents may merit some attention in this area.
Before closing, I will leave you with one last image that I witnessed from my front yard within the last month. As I was tending to some outdoor chores, I heard the sounds of engines racing in the distance. My initial thought was that it might be some emergency vehicles responding to an accident. Taking notice, however, I was shocked to witness two passenger vehicles race by our house toward Lawrenceburg.
These two vehicles were side-by-side, with multiple passengers, and (by my estimate) travelling approximately 60 to 65 mph as they neared the downward hill just past Starhill Way.
Had another vehicle been approaching from the direction of Lawrenceburg, we would have experienced yet another tragic accident in this area.
Chris Kidwell