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Sheriff’s captain says Woodlands drivers need to slow down, stop using cell phones

January 24, 2019

Concern over the numbers of accidents at numerous intersections in and around The Woodlands has been on the minds of elected officials and law enforcement officials for year, however recent accidents along the Research Forest Drive corridor have led to more scrutiny of the issue over the past four months.

On Wednesday, Jan. 23, The Woodlands Township Board of Directors received an update on accidents along the Research Forest Drove corridor, focused on the Crownridge Drive intersection, where there were 17 collisions from Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 26, 2018 — prompting township director to ask for an update on the issue from local law enforcement officials.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Tim Holifield did a presentation to the board during Wednesday’s meeting, stating that the accidents at the intersection, like many around the township and surrouding region, are often caused by a combination of factors, including inattentive drivers on cell phones, speeding and in general, drivers just not paying attention to their environment or other traffic.

“The information in this report is to address accidents as a whole in the township, but with a focus on the accidents at Crownridge and Research Forest. We took a lot of time to pull the reports,” Holifield said. “In every incident, at least one party failed to yield the right of way.”

After consulting with traffic signal officials with Montgomery County Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack’s office and other law enforcement officials, Holifield said the issue was mere

“All of the timings are correct,” he added of the Crownridge Drive intersection. “They validated and verified the signal timings are correct.”

The presentation included detailed data on accidents and collisions through out the township, with the intersection of Texas 242 and Interstate 45, with 91 collisions. The intersection of Grogan’s Mill Road and Research Forest Drive was also on the list. Many of the 1,397 collisions in 2018, more than 700 happened within an intersection, Holifield added.

“We have a number of hot spots for collision, and a lot of those places, we just need to remind people, put down their cell phone and focus on driving,” Holifield added. “Distracted driving seems to be on the increase.”

Holifield said drivers can put down cell phones, use the Safe to Save app and pay attention to driving, not other in-car distractions.

Township Director Bruce Rieser said more attention needs to be devoted to preventing accidents.

“(Texas) 242 is the worst in the county, but speed enforcement (on Research Forest Drive) would be good,” Rieser said.

Township Board Chairman Gordy Bunch also said township officials will consult with Noack’s office to examine whether there are sight-line issues at the Crownridge Drive intersection with Research Forest Drive, and if trees and shrubs needed to be trimmed.

jeff.forward@chron.com

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