From 65 to 55: Saving lives

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DICKSON, Okla. -- The speed limit on Highway 199 in Dickson was reduced in August 2006 in hopes of slowing down drivers and saving lives, but have the changes fared for better streets?

It’s been almost a year since two families have endured tragic losses on Highway 199 in Dickson, Oklahoma, leading police and state lawmakers to take action to make this stretch of road safer.

Last May’s horrific accident claimed the lives of Sonya McDougall's husband and son and critically injured her other son, Conner.

Two months later tragedy stuck again.

This time the Mays family lost a father, Jason Mays, and sons Caleb and Luke. Dickson police and residents say the 65 miles per hour speed limit was to blame.

So in august, state Representatives Johnny Crutchfield and Greg Piatt worked with ODOT to reduce the limit to 55 miles per hour.

Since the change nine months ago, Dickson police chief William Thomas says he hasn't had a single fatality in his town, and accidents have dropped by 20%.

"It’s the greatest thing it’s ever happened out here the simple fact. The wrecks have slowed down, and damage on vehicles is not severe."

Chief Thomas says it’s simple: the lower the speed, the more reaction time drivers have to react to whats in front of them.

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