LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) — No one likes it when cars speed by their house, especially Gulf War veteran Ray Raulerson. He was so fed up with speeders along Donegan Road in Largo that he reached out to WFLA Traffic Reporter Leslee Lacey.
Ray showed Leslee a folder of numerous emails he had sent to the City of Largo, Pinellas County, and other local governments. Ray had an extensive paper trail complaining of speeding on Donegan Road.
Leslee also discovered she and Ray had two things in common. They were both Veterans and Speed Busters. Ray was so irritated with fast-moving vehicles, he bought a radar gun.
So, like two old Army buddies heading down range, Ray and Leslee tested their guns before using them. They found that their guns recorded the same speeds, so Leslee and Ray then used their guns to see how fast school busses, a police car and an emergency vehicle were driving. It turned out they were speeding.
The speed limit in front of Ray’s house is 30 mph, however the cautionary speed signs recommends a 15 and 20 mph speed limit around the nearby curves.
Aside from the quick curves on Donegan Rd, there is also a horse stable on the road. Francis Chancey is a horse owner who walks her horse on Donegan Road daily. Chancey says she had to create a special flag to hold horizontally by her side, so cars will pass in the opposite lane.
This stretch of Donegan Road is also a horse crossing area. Chancey says she has almost been hit several times. She also says many vehicles speed by her while honking, which spooks her horse. Chancey walks her horse on the side of the road when the ground is hard, however anytime it rains, the ground becomes too soft and she must use the road for several days.
Chancey and Raulerson have contacted several government officials about speeding in the area.
Leslee asked if her horse has reacted from being scared. Chancey replied, “Yes. Especially the air brakes. On the busses and things. I’ve talked to the school board and made them aware of the situation. I’ve talked to waste management because they speed. Oh, and the post office, yea, the carriers come down here too fast. And the utilities, I talked to them last week, so even they are too fast,” she said.
After spending a couple of hours at Ray’s house, Leslee witnessed vehicles speeding up to 46 mph. And some of the speeders were government vehicles.
After reaching out to the City of Largo, Leslee spoke with communications manager, Brandon Graham. Graham told Leslee that two studies were completed last year on Donegan Road. Graham said the studies found that speeds on the road were high enough to warrant increased enforcement by Largo police.
Graham added that since it has been more than six months since the studies were conducted, residents can request another study. After hearing that update from Leslee, Raulerson has requested an additional study.
The big question is what the City of Largo will do if the study again comes back showing high speeds. Leslee will follow-up with the city to see what it plans to do next.
If you have a troublesome area where speeding seems to be a concern, contact Leslee on her Facebook page “WFLALeslee” or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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