• 70°

‘I urge the commission to take strong action’

To All Commissioners,

Recently, a truck owned by R. Baker overturned on the residential road County Road 22 in Spruce Pine. Fortunately, no one was killed, and the only injury was the driver. Had there been anyone else on that road then, there would have been a fatality. 

Those of us that live on CR 22 are familiar with the dangerous trucks as they speed and regularly cross the yellow center line. Just today, my wife nearly was forced off the road by yet another R. Baker truck exceeding the speed limit and over the center line.

You are surely aware of the danger these trucks pose and have constructive knowledge of this as this isn’t the first time you’ve been informed of the problem. There will be a fatality on this road, it’s just a matter of time.

I understand that Mr. Baker feels he pays taxes and therefore “owns” that road. This isn’t true. Like the people living on that road, he pays his legally required taxes just like the rest of us, and frankly, it’s debatable whether he pays more than the aggregate of the people who live on that road.

But this isn’t a tax issue. It is a safety issue. It is a right and wrong issue. His taxes do not entitle him to drive a commercial vehicle on a residential road.

When the county paved that road a few years ago, what plate was used? Was it a commercial or residential plate? What I remember is that David Palmer said it was a residential plate used, not a commercial plate which would allow for trucks on the road. The trucks certainly have degraded the road surface, and it will be in dire need of work very soon.

Commercial trucks should not be allowed on County Road 22. It’s a residential road. There’s 12 driveways in a quarter mile stretch between Highway 43 and my driveway alone. This should legally provide that the road designation be residential. It also should have a maximum speed limit of 25 miles per hour.

If the commission is not going to do the right thing because they are afraid of Mr. Baker, then there’s other things that should be done.

  1. 1. Repave the road using a commercial plate, widening the lanes allowing for safer travel.
  2. 2. Reduce the speed limit to 25 miles per hour.
  3. 3. Place a camera that will record the speed of vehicles and automatically generate speeding tickets to offenders.
  4. 4. Place solar-powered signs that show a person’s speed at various points, particularly around the curve who most accidents have occurred.

I urge the commission to take strong action quickly before we’re faced with the inevitable death of one of your constituents.

Scott Montgomery

President

Montgomery Industries LLC