Dewey Beach commissioners seek speed limit decrease

Pending state approval, Coastal Highway will be 25 mph in town
August 27, 2021

To assist with public safety and reduce the severity of vehicular accidents, Dewey Beach commissioners voted unanimously Aug. 13 to request Delaware Department of Transportation reduce the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph on Coastal Highway within town.

Town Manager Bill Zolper said he originally thought to reduce the speed limit from Memorial Day through Labor Day only, but decided it might cause confusion. He said he didn’t want to create a speed trap in town.

Police Chief Sam Mackert said he fully supported lowering the speed limit year-round. Accidents are less severe the slower a vehicle is traveling, Mackert said, and the driver’s reaction time is quicker.

“Whatever we can do to make people out there safer – we have cars, trucks, bicyclists, pedestrians, children, adults – I’m in favor of it,” Mackert said. 

Officers will issue warnings and education for a 10- to 15-day period after the reduction goes into effect before citations are given, said Mackert. People are stopping and slowing for pedestrians, thanks to pedestrian crossing signs and flashing beacons, he said.

“It’s having an impact,” Mackert said. “It is working.”  

DelDOT spokesperson C.R. McLeod said in an April 23 email that DelDOT has received the resolution from Dewey Beach and is reviewing it, but has not yet approved the reduction in speed. 

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