A Selma-area intersection has been the scene of several serious car accidents over the years. However, the NC Department of Transportation says it does not warrant any safety improvements.
Earlier this month a car and motorcycle collided at the intersection of Highway 39 North at Little Divine Road and Browns Pond Road. West of Highway 39 the road is called Little Divine. East is called Browns Pond Road. The two secondary roads don’t precisely line up at Highway 39, adding to some of the traffic concerns.
“Anytime there is a fatality or a significant number of accidents at intersections we review the accident history to see what type of accidents we are having to see if the intersection can be improved,” according to Tim Little, NC DOT Division Engineer for Johnston County. “We have a limited amount of funds and have to spend money on the worst places first.”
The NC DOT says they have not received any recent complaints about the intersection which has been the scene of 8 reported crashes since 2012. There have been no fatalities at the intersection in the last 5 years. Five of the 8 accidents did result in injuries.
One of the 8 accidents occured in March 2015. A car and Selma Elementary school bus collided, injuring 7 people, 4 of them seriously. The wreck was caused after the car failed to stop at a stop sign and drove into the path of the bus traveling southbound on Highway 39.
DOT officials agree that the Browns Pond Road segment needs to be aligned with Little Divine Road where it crosses Highway 39 but funding is not currently available to pay for the project due to the low volume of crashes.
“There is limited funds and we have to spend them in the areas that have the worst history and the worst type of accidents,” Little said.
The NC DOT says a 4-way stop sign at the interchange has not been studied but would probably not be warranted.