West Bloomfield resident and registered nurse Vickey Campbell stands Sept. 12 on the property of fellow subdivision neighbor Rebecca Ayar, where signs encourage people to slow down.

West Bloomfield resident and registered nurse Vickey Campbell stands Sept. 12 on the property of fellow subdivision neighbor Rebecca Ayar, where signs encourage people to slow down.

Photo by Deb Jacques

West Bloomfield nurse pleads for smarter, safer driving

By: Sherri Kolade | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published September 13, 2018

WEST BLOOMFIELD — West Bloomfield resident and registered nurse Vickey Campbell has administered roadside aid in the aftermath of vehicle collisions she’s witnessed as a driver herself on multiple occasions.

“I have witnessed multiple accidents and stopped to help,” she said. “I haven’t responded to a fatality accident; some of the serious ones are on Walnut Lake (Road) and Haggerty Road.” 

Campbell has been impacted on a personal level too. She was nearly run over herself when she stopped to help a turtle in front of her vehicle in her Wyndham Pointe subdivision, and she’s seen drivers speed dangerously through her subdivision.

Campbell was involved in an accident at around 5:30 p.m. Sept. 5 after leaving work, traveling westbound on 14 Mile Road from Northwestern Highway. Her vehicle was extensively damaged, and she was shaken up. She was sore for a few days on her left side.

Rebecca Ayar, a subdivision neighbor, has a sign out in front of her yard that reads, “Drive like your kids live here.”

She said she and her husband put the sign out after two driving encounters in which she was nearly hit by vehicles — one incident occurring after moving to the community a year ago and one occurring last month, when she was with her toddler daughter.

“We’ve seen a lot of speeding cars going way over the speed limit,” she said, and it’s creating a dangerous situation. “We have a lot of kids in and out.”

Craig Bryson, senior manager of communications and public information for the Road Commission for Oakland County, said that the Wyndham Pointe subdivision is a public subdivision and there are speed limit signs posting the 25 mph speed limit at both entrances.

Curtis Lawson, deputy chief of the West Bloomfield Police Department, said in an email that the West Bloomfield Police Department’s brand is customer service, professionalism and partnership with the community.

“Any calls that we receive regarding traffic complaints are documented and evaluated to best solve the problem,” he said in the email, adding that the Police Department has a number of options available to it to help alleviate the problem as it relates to speeding.

Option one is directed enforcement by the Police Department’s traffic division to concentrate directly on the problem.

Option two is extra patrols from the Police Department’s patrol division and at chosen enforcement times.

Option three is the use of a radar trailer.

“This often slows traffic and reminds motorists of the posted speed limit,” Lawson said.

Campbell said that some areas of concern she noticed are in the general area of 14 Mile Road and Haggerty Road; Lawson said that from Jan. 1, 2017, through Sept. 12, 2018, the Police Department issued 97 citations in that area.

In the area of 14 Mile Road and Farmington Road, in the roundabout and general area, 10 citations were issued during the same time frame.

At the 15 Mile Road and Farmington Road roundabout, the Police Department issued 25 citations during the same time frame.

“As an organization, we only write citations to help correct behavior, to solve a problem and/or to enforce the law. We have never and will never write citations as a way to generate revenue,” Lawson said. “It is our experience that a majority of those traveling our roadways do so in a safe and responsible manner.”

Campbell said she has lived in other communities, including Rochester Hills, and the driving was not as erratic as what she has experienced in the township.

“I don’t know what the root cause of this problem is, but I know that it needs to be addressed,” she said. “We need speed bumps. If they (drivers) are going to choose to drive like that, they are going to ruin their vehicle and not somebody’s life.” 

Bryson said that the Road Commission determines where speed bumps can be used.

“As a general practice, we don’t do speed bumps for a variety of reasons,” he said, one issue being that if someone is driving too fast and hits a speed bump, they can lose control.

Bryson said that speed bumps are an interference to snow plows and can damage plow vehicles.

“It is also a liability issue,” he said. “If somebody hits a speed bump and it damages their car, they are going to sue the Road Commission, so for those reasons we generally don’t do speed bumps.”

He said that in the past, the Road Commission has done speed humps, which are more of an extended rise, versus a bump on the road.

“We’ve done those on a limited basis — those seem to be less of a liability … but again, on a select, limited basis where our traffic engineers studied the situation,” he said.

Bryson said the Road Commission receives calls from people who state that cars are driving too fast in their neighborhoods, and sometimes it’s a matter of someone going 32 mph instead of the posted 25 mph.

“Inevitably, the majority of people speeding through subdivisions tend to be the people that live in those subdivisions,” he said, adding that the only solution to speeding is education and through law enforcement. “But people will speed in subdivisions. … People will tell us there are people going 50 mph down our street, and when we do a speed study, the average speed is 32 mph.”

He added that there might be an occasional car that zooms past, but traffic in subdivisions tends to not be as fast as people perceive it.

For more information, go to www.rcocweb.org/31/Residents.