DOT Has No Plans For Safety Improvements At Selma Intersection

A Johnston County School bus with 45 students on board struck a car that failed to stop at a stop sign in March 2015 at the intersection of Highway 39 North and Little Divine Road / Browns Pond Road. Even though the intersection has had several serious crashes over the years the NC DOT says funding is not available for safety improvements. Photos by JoCoFire.com

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.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I believe the reasoning for “warranting a safety improvement” should be to avoid the possiblity of another fatality….not because there havent been ENOUGH fatalities here for such…The fact that the intersection is misaligned, there should be flashing lights to indicate the upcoming stop signs from all directions….maybe to warn of approaching cars…this wouldnt require anything other than a traffic light warning device…..which seems a small price to pay to save someones life and why not use the millions we are giving away in lottery tickets that was advertised as going to save North Carolina highways and schools…

    • I agree….This intersection is very dangerous… Pulling out on 39 is a risk to your life because you can’t see cars coming until you pull out . Can’t expect DOT to do anything about it because they wouldn’t even fill up a hole at the intersection that was deep enough to drown in ….. They rather spend the money paying for their employees to ride around doing nothing all day… After someone dies , it’s too late..

  2. Once again, our government doing it’s best to kill it’s own. If DOT was truly interested in at least preventing fatalities, it would put in a properly engineered roundabout. Roundabouts reduce the number of accidents, and all but stop fatal ones. Stop signs and lights don’t care if you stop. Roundabouts make you slow down and navigate the circle.

  3. I grew up in this area and there were never this many accidents. I don’t believe DOT should be scrutinized for irresponsible drivers. If you stop and look rather than slow down, there will be no accidents. I’m sure each one was because of irresponsible party blaming a road that doesn’t have high traffic. Money is needed all over the county for road repairs. A four-way stop sign isn’t going to help. You have accidents where lanes are directly connected and still have accidents. Who’s to blame then? I just think people are way too reckless, especially in rural areas.

  4. I completely agree with Artina….I also think the 4-way stop signs on 96 & Old Beulah and the ones at 96 & Little Devine are just stupid. There is absolutely no reason for either of these intersections to be 4-way stops. People need to just pay attention when they’re driving.

  5. Maybe in a perfect world that would happen. But everybody today are in a HURRY to basically get nowhere… Therefore they don’t pay attention like they should and usually cause an innocent person to get hurt or killed.. A 4-way stop is there so everybody has to stop, but there are always gonna be people who don’t because they think they can drive anyway they please and not obey the laws.

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