Drivers want safety improvements on Texas 31

KILGORE/GREGG COUNTY (KYTX) - Drivers and business owners  say they've witnessed far too many accidents on State Highway 31 and are ready for road improvements. Now, some say they plan on taking matters into their own hands.

Bloody 31, the nickname given to Texas State Highway 31 after years and years of fatal car accidents. Brandon Fife has seen a few of them himself.

"People have died, right up here, back there all over the place."

Fife works at the Country Tavern restaurant, he says the speed limit is the biggest issue.

"We need to slow it down to 55 probably up there at 30-53 all the way past the liquor stores."

 "That truck is flying right now, I can understand the speed limit is 70 miles-per-hour, but if people need to turn they just don't have no authority."

This kilgore couple travels Highway 31 everyday. They say not only have they been in a wreck on 31, they've seen a few bad ones too.

"They had to helicopter a child from the side of the road to a hospital, it was awful we didn't know if the people were dead or alive.

 According to the Texas Department of Transportation, nearly 9,000 people travel what some consider 'Bloody 31' everyday. Some of the business owners say they are working to put a petition together to get a stop light or two, maybe some wider lanes or even some turning lanes here on hwy 31.  

"I want to sign it, I want to sign it."

A petition in the works in hopes of seeing some form of safety improvements to the highly traveled highway.

"Red light, a yield sign, flashing light or something."

But until that day comes, drivers say car accidents and fatal wrecks will continue on Bloody 31.

 "I don't work for the road commission or traffic people, but something needs to be done, really."

The Texas Department of Transportation says they investigate every fatal crash in their system with a critical eye toward possible safety improvements.


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