WJTV News Channel 12 - Carroll Co. leaders battle safety concerns on Fancy Gap Mtn.

Carroll Co. leaders battle safety concerns on Fancy Gap Mtn.

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CARROLL COUNTY -

Airport runway lighting technology is used on Interstate 64 on Afton Mountain. Pat Horner, Sergeant with the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, says he would like to see something similar on Fancy Gap Mountain.

"It's not a cure all. If you're still going to run 70 miles an hour on the road you're going to have a problem, but it gives you some idea of where you're at on the road," said Horner.

In 2007, incandescent lights were installed there. They were replaced by LED lights two years later because they have a longer life span and cost less to maintain. The upgrade was about $1.3 million and it costs just shy of $123,000 a year to maintain. We spoke to some who frequently travel through the fog  in Fancy Gap to get their thoughts.

"When that fog is bad man, you have to go about 15 to 20 miles per hour and hope nobody runs into you," said Andy Reeves, a truck driver.

"I think lights would help but also the drivers would have to slow down," said Mark Pluvell.

V-DOT spokesman Jason Bond says they have already spent about $5 million putting up signs using solar power, to warn drivers about inclement weather. They have also installed additional safety measures like more signage and rumble strips. Bond says v-dot is currently laying the groundwork to put power on the mountain. The plan is to use LED lighting to flash a speed limit that can change with the weather, but some feel more is needed.

"The speed limit signs are a start. Afton Mountain has some lighting. I think Fancy Gap Mountain needs the same lighting and that may help. It's not going to solve every problem, but you have to do something. I mean how many events are you going to have like this before you decide enough is enough," said Horner.

V-DOT says the money to power Fancy Gap Mountain where Sunday's pile-up took place has not been set aside yet. Bond says it is in the hands of people living in Carroll County to lobby leaders to secure funding for the project.

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