CRESTVIEW — Silver Springs Estates residents are frustrated that speeders and stop-sign-runners on Lake Silver Road are threatening their peaceful country way of life.
Angie and Charlie Arnold love their new privacy fence. But with speeding drivers who have trouble negotiating a 90-degree corner near their home, they fear the fence may not last long.
"About three times now, people have come around that corner and missed that turn," Angie Arnold said.
Eyeing a stand of shrubbery near the fence, recently plowed into by a car that overshot the corner, the Arnolds said speeders have twice mowed down the adjacent stop sign at the corner of Cricket Lane and Lake Silver Road.
It's not unusual to find tire tracks on neighbors' yards from drivers who continue Lake Silver Road's 35-mph speed limit into their neighborhood's 25-mph zone.
"They do at least 30 or 35," Angie Arnold said. "Our neighbor has had their mailbox taken out. They had skid marks into their yard."
Recently, their son Jeremy, home on leave from the Marine Corps, was almost struck by a speeding Hummer driven by a motorist distracted by a cell phone call.
Traffic has doubled
Since the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) moved to the Crestview area, Angie Arnold said traffic — and traffic problems — in her neighborhood have more than doubled.
The subdivision’s sole entrance is on the problem corner, she said.
Another concern is after the corner, Lake Silver Road straightens out to long, straight paths popular for drag racing. Charlie Arnold said the family has sat around their backyard fire pit with friends watching motorcycles and cars racing on the road.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office reported responding to several traffic calls in the area in recent months.
"In the last 12 months, the sheriff's office has conducted 57 traffic stops for violations along Lake Silver Road," Sgt. Mark Raiche of the sheriff's office Special Operations Unit said. "We will continue to work on the problem."
Raiche said the sheriff's office, which is stepping up patrols, set up a radar-controlled speed limit sign "to increase awareness of the speed limit."
Tuesday morning, Raiche reported stopping two drivers who ran the Corner Creek Road stop sign.
The Arnolds have tried requesting that the county Public Works department make the intersection of Lake Silver, Corner Creek Road and Cricket Lane a four-way stop, to no avail.
The couple said they will next appeal to county commissioners.
"Heck, if they drop the 'stop' signs off, I'll put 'em up," Charlie Arnold said.
Arnold, a professional firefighter at Eglin Air Force Base, said he sees at work enough carnage from bad drivers.
"I don't want to pull anybody out of a wrecked car at home," he said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.