Photo Courtesy of Andy Whitt

A wreck on Hwy. 53 stops traffic. The increase in accidents on this stretch of road have led Rep. Andy Whitt to lobby for help.

New Representative Seeks to Expand Highway 53 to Help Stop Accidents

Each year, nearly 1.25 million people die in a car accident in the United States alone. Two thousand five hundred and twenty-six of those deaths were teens. 

Any time you drive you are taking a risk. Representative Andy Whitt is very passionate about the safety of driving, especially on Highway 53. Driving is something that we do every day and with Alabama’s growing population driving in the state has become an even higher risk. This risk has increased due to the number of people and flood of traffic in the area. 

“My top priority for Highway 53 is improving the safety of our citizens. In order to get the project on the table, we have to keep people talking about it. Continuing to advocate for improvements is just one way of increasing the awareness of the people who control the funding for state roads,” Whitt said.

Highway 53 is one of the most dangerous roads in Madison County, it connects the City of Huntsville to Interstate 65 in Limestone County. The road is very overcrowded, it has five out of ten of the most dangerous intersections in Madison County.

“We’ve all lost friends or loved ones to automobile wrecks. With so many dangers today on the road like distracted drivers, a dangerous highway like 53 only compounds the problem,” Whitt said. “As an elected official, it is my duty to make sure that our citizens travel on safe and secure roadways.” 

There is much that can be done to help prevent the number of car crashes on this road from precautions we can take, to road work that needs to be done. One way to stay safe on not only highway 53 but on any roadway is to stay aware of your surroundings. On average there are nine people killed and 1,000 injured by distracted driving every day. Staying away from being on your phone, eating or drinking, doing your hair or makeup or adjusting the radio are just some of the things you can do to help prevent car crashes.

“We must do everything that we can to ensure that our buses and children arrive safely to school. My family and I travel this road daily, and we cringe every time there is a wreck, always thinking that it is someone we know,” Whitt said. 

Road work is something that needs to be done to Highway 53. Highway 53 is an old roadway that needs many changes for safety reasons.  There is an ALDOT, Alabama Department of Transportation, safety study being composed. Whitt believes that if speed limits are reduced, there is an increase in law enforcement present and an addition of solar lit stop signs and improvements to the intersections, there will be reduced crashes on that roadway. 

“As with any major project, we should expect to have some growing pains. We have to continue to move forward with the temporary safety measures that have been proposed, keep trying to get the message out to citizens to drive safely in the area, and increase the presence of law enforcement,” Whitt said. “Our state promised it’s citizens over five decades ago that Highway 53 would be made into a four lane road all the way to Interstate 65 in Ardmore. It’s time that it becomes a top priority for the State and they fulfill the promises made years ago.”


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