Chief urges drop in Liberty Hill speed limits

Signs prohibiting the use of hand-held mobile devices while driving are posted at all entrances to Liberty Hill. Officers are now enforcing the ordinance. (Staff Photo)

Signs prohibiting the use of hand-held mobile devices while driving are posted at all entrances to Liberty Hill. Officers are now enforcing the ordinance. (Staff Photo)

Liberty Hill Police Chief Randy Williams is recommending a change in the speed limit on State Highway 29, dropping it from 55 to 45 miles per hour.

“There has been an increase in traffic crashes in and around our city,” Williams said. “The main cause of these crashes is driver inattention, but speed is almost always a contributing factor.”

Williams said excessive speed contributes to the severity of the crash and increases the likelihood of serious injury or even death.

Williams will recommend that the Liberty Hill City Council adopt a resolution requesting the Texas Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit inside the city limits.

“We have too many driveways and crossroads for people to be driving 60 to 65 mph through our city. It takes less than a minute and a half difference to drive the length of the city on Hwy 29 at 45 mph versus 55 mph. That is figured without having to stop at the traffic lights,” he added.

Williams said the speed limit on Loop 332 should also be decreased to 30 mph all the way through town.

With the addition of Tractor Supply, which is currently under construction on Loop 332, the entrance to a planned neighborhood behind the store, the San Gabriel Apartments on Hillcrest Lane and Liberty Hill Elementary School, Williams said the current 40 mph speed is too fast.

“On the south end of the Loop you have the railroad crossing, which was hit last month resulting in a rollover crash, Foundation Park, the fires station, the new duplex neighborhood and the Intermediate School,” he said. “It would take less than 30 seconds difference to drive either of these 40 mph zones at 30 instead of 40.”

Williams said the Council should also consider asking TXDoT to designate Loop 332 as Main Street for its entire length.

“That way they could put up the street signs when they install the new speed limit signs,” he said.

Williams said TXDoT should also lower the speed limit on RR 1869 from 40 and 45 mph to 30 mph inside the city limits.

“Again, it would make less than a minute difference in the drive time if it was 30 mph all the way,” he said.

Williams said with the start of school on August 25, Liberty Hill police will be enforcing speed violations to a stricter degree, as well as a prohibition against cell phone use.

“This means that if you’re speeding only three miles over (the speed limit), you’re going to get pulled over,” he said.

Williams said the speed and distracted driver awareness program will be enforced “to remind people that speed kills,” he said.

Liberty Hill officers have begun enforcement of a city ordinance that prohibits the use of hand-held electronic devices while driving inside the Liberty Hill city limits.

One officer said he stopped seven drivers for cell phone use during a short time Monday afternoon.

Signs warning drivers of restrictions against cell phone use were posted at all entrances of the city limits last week. The ordinance, which carries a fine up to $500, was passed by a unanimous vote of City Council members in February.