By Susan Bromley
Slow down for the kids.
The Michigan Department of Transportation has established a school speed zone on M-15 from just north of Brandon High School, 1025 S. Ortonville Road and just south of the South Street intersection.
Signs dictate that speeds traveled in that section should not exceed 35 mph from 6:45 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. on school days.
“We were getting complaints from residents regarding traffic problems during school hours when they were trying to turn into schools,” said Supervisor Kathy Thurman, who met with MDOT officials, along with Superintendent Matt Outlaw, and Brandon Substation Sgt. Dale Brown earlier this year.
Brandon Middle School is also within that stretch of M-15.
MDOT also examined Oakwood Road for a possible speed zone by Oakwood Elementary, but determined there was no need for a reduction there because the facility is so far off the road and there are no sidewalks in the area.
Michigan State Police conducted a safety study of M-15 last year between Glass and Grange Hall roads and determined the posted speed limit should remain at 50 mph. Thurman and the township board had requested the study after two fatal crashes occurred in 2013 within five months of each other in front of the McDonald’s restaurant.
According to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), from 2008-2012, there were 323 reported accidents on M-15 between Seymour Lake Road and South Street in Brandon Township. Of those, none were fatal; four caused incapacitating injuries; 59 caused other injuries; and 260 were property damage only. M-15 on this stretch is classified as medium congestion by SEMCOG.
Regarding the new school zone speed limit, Outlaw said, “When we are talking about student drop-off and pick-up, it is in our best interest to slow down, it can only help safety.”