Neighbors hope for improvements on section of Highway 291

A new traffic light went up on Highway 291 in Nine Mile Falls near a school to help people slow down but neighbors say there is still a problem.

NINE MILE FALLS, Wash. --- A new traffic light went up on Highway 291 in Nine Mile Falls near a school to help people slow down but neighbors say there is still a problem.

This past month, WSDOT installed flashing yellow lights at the busiest crosswalk in Nine Mile Falls after agreeing with a concerned community, crossing highway 291...is just too dangerous.

Michael Meyers survived that head-on collision this past month that happened on one of the most dangerous roads in Spokane County.

"First thing I said at the point of impact was, 'you may not make it through this one, Michael,” Meyers said.

"I don't really want to drive the roads. They're too dangerous anymore so now we go up to Swensen to Stately Road and on over. We've thought about moving but we love it out here. It's a great community,” Meyers said.

Meyers is just one of the many viewers who have reached out to KREM 2 over this past year voicing concern about this stretch of State Highway 291.

These past five years, we reported on four serious accidents that happened on highway 291 that were either fatal or sent people to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

This week, Washington State Patrol officials said the road has seen its share of fatal accidents, the majority caused by impaired drivers and similar to what Meyers went through.

Officials said many of the crashes involve drivers’ crossing over the double yellow lines into oncoming cars.

"The roads have gotten really bad with people texting and racing up the hill up big sandy,” Meyers said.

But the problem is that there is no way to determine if drivers were on their phone while driving without a witness or them admitting to it.

Meyers says he has an idea and it begins with the pocket book.

"If the fines are high enough, people would be a little more deterred to use them,” Meyers said.

Meyers says he is talking about being on your phone.

We reached out to Washington State Dept. of Transportation to see if it plans on doing anything to make this stretch of highway safer, but they have yet to return our call.

KREM


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