Opp Neighborhood Speeders

An eight-year-old boy was struck and injured last month by a vehicle in the street outside his Opp home. The incident prompted the child's grandmother to organize a petition drive to crack down on speeders.

One could say Billy Ray Grimes is a "lucky" eight-year-old. Last month, the boy received minor injuries after being struck by a car while he tried to cross West Hart Avenue.

"Then I got half way across the street and was hit there," said Grimes.

However, the boy's grandmother, Pat Coon, says Billy Ray is the latest victim of speeders flying down West Hart Avenue. She gathered 160 signatures from residents in several nearby neighborhoods asking for city officials to address the problem.

"The speeders are constantly. No particular time. It’s all day, and all night. Something has to be done about it. My grandson was hit. It’ll have to take a child or an adult to get killed," said Coon.

West Hart Avenue resident Cassandra Blue said, “The way they tear down the street and speed. They can run over our children by hitting them on the front lawn. It’ll take about a child or an adult getting killed."

In addition to petitions, Coon is talking to people about the speeding problems.

"My foot was on the curve and was hit there. I went about five feet into the air following the collision," said Steve Tate.

City officials confirm that they will soon install speed bumps on West Hart Avenue to help slow down traffic.

Besides the speed bumps, Opp police say they've increased road patrols, but officials say the problem with speeders has gotten worse across the entire city.


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