ALERT: Excessive Speeding at Lake Holiday

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Written by Anthony Morelli

On June 30, 2018

As you read this article, do so with the clear understanding that speed limit on all roads within Lake Holiday Country Club is 25mph. 

At the invitation of the Security Committee, the Frederick County Sheriff’s department installed monitoring equipment (JAMAR) at 163 Lake Holiday Road between May 9th and May 15th; and at 700 West Masters Drive between May 31st and June 7th to determine baseline speed data.

The alarming results confirm that Lake Holiday indeed has a speeding problem. Over one-quarter of driving-passes exceeded 35mph on West Masters Drive.  Nearly the same percentage went faster than 35mph on Lake Holiday Road.  However, a significant number, over 500 driving-passes were in the 41-50mph range, and one driver zipped along over 60mph on Masters Drive!  (The term “driving-pass” is used as these individual events are not necessarily unique individual drivers; the same driver with reckless disregard for others may have excessively exceeded the speed limit multiple times).

Statistics on Lake Holiday Road were a bit less troubling, but more than 200 driver-passes drove 41-50mph, and five exceeded 50 mph!  To put this significant issue into proper perspective, here’s a graphic on the mortality rates of pedestrians hit by vehicles at various speeds:

So given the data above where drivers exceeded 40mph, there were at least 700 instances where the potential for certain death was a foregone conclusion.  It’s not enough to rely on the fact that there have been no pedestrian deaths in Lake Holiday as a result of a vehicle strike.  However, given the volume of foot, bike, and other traffic on our roadways with 25 mile per hour speed limits, the concern is real and death is almost certain at the above-detected speed should pedestrians and these speeding vehicles cross paths.

The sobering reality that these excessive speeders fail to realize that their “need for speed” within the four corners of this community is completely non-existent.  If people would take the time to understand that the topography and rather short distance from even the furthest reaches of this community to the front gate or bus stop will result in a net time-savings of less than one minute… every… single… time.  Yes, the difference between 50 miles per hour and 25 miles per hour is not a “half savings” because the hills, curves, speed bumps, stop signs, etc. will prevent you from keeping that sustained speed.  Even if you had zero obstructions and a straight line distance of 5 miles to go from your home to the front gate, the time savings would be approximately 2 minutes. There is no excuse that justifies these speeds.  There is no “I was really late for work and I might lose my job” justification given that you will not even save a single minute.  Just be late.  There is no significance of medical emergency that justifies these speeds given that you will not even save a single minute.  And there most certainly is no “but my child/I might miss the school bus” excuse, especially given all of the children who walk to the bus stop in the morning and home from the bus stop in the afternoon.  Just be late.  Arrive alive.  Lives depend on it.  There is simply no excuse for this type of reckless disregard for your neighbors and community.

The Association recently purchased a state-of-the-art radar gun, and Haines’ roving patrol will be enforcing the limit, which was established to protect all of us. In addition, the Sheriff’s department has been invited to enforce traffic regulations within Lake Holiday for the safety of all our residents. Exceeding the speed limit on our roads is a dangerous proposition; the commander of the Sheriff’s traffic division has had to notify next of kin that a loved one has died more than a dozen times.

The board voted to contact the county Board of Supervisors to obtain permission for golf carts to operate legally on Lake Holiday Roads.  If the County decides to grant this request, state law requiring a valid driver’s license will still be in effect.  That will obviously eliminate children, who have been observed driving carts alone on more than one occasion.  State law also requires a Slow-Moving Equipment triangle on the rear and two headlights, tail lights and brake lights if operated between sunset and sunrise.  Although insurance is not required, prudence suggests that bodily injury/death insurance coverage be obtained in view of the vehicular speeding described in the first paragraph.

Let’s all try to have a safe and fun-filled summer and SLOW DOWN!   The inconsequential time you’re saving by exceeding the speed limit pales in comparison to the potential loss of life.

~Submitted by The Security Committee

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