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South Bend subdivision deals with dangerous drivers

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Neighbors in one South Bend subdivision are doing all they can to get detoured drivers to slow down.

The detour isn't an official route selected by INDOT for the U.S. 31 construction project. People are using it anyway as a short cut and it's causing major safety issues.

All the trouble is happening in the Whispering Hills subdivision off Kern Road.

Earlier this week, a speeding driver hit a dog, but kept right on going, even though the lady who owned the dog and her two children witnessed it. The family pet was 14-years-old.

If that wasn't bad enough, a second driver hit the dog and killed it and kept on going as well.

People who live there fear next time it could be a person, or even a child.

Several neighbors tell ABC 57 News that they've contacted the INDOT spokesman Jim Pinkerton for help in this matter.

Jodie Hardesty lives in Whispering Hills is one of them. She asked, "If these people are going through a subdivision and they are not stopping after they've hit an animal are they going to continue and do it again?"

She has a puppy that is 4-months-old and she said she isn't taking any chances.

"We have to make sure she's always on her leash, because if she's out in the street, she'll get hit and killed."

Hardesty and her husband have two young children, she said they'll be keeping a close eye on them while they are outside playing. Just like Kris Taylor, her neighbor across the street is doing with her two children, Brady and Reagan.

Brady Taylor described the traffic flow before Kern Road construction began, he said, "There was like two cars coming past."

His sister Reagan Taylor said, "Mainly people who lived in our neighborhood, and now it's a ton of other people, strangers, we have no idea who they are. The two say it's a challenge to ride their bikes around the neighborhood.

Hardesty said, "speed limit is 25, but they are going by probably 40 easily."

Jordan Niespodziany who lives in the first home of the subdivision is home from college for the summer. He said the the first day of the construction a Saint Joseph County Deputy was in his neighborhood ticketing speeders. He unfortunately was issued a speeding ticket for going 10 over the limit. "Ever since then we hadn't seen him, so we were wondering why they would stop the patrol," he said.

The St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department estimated so far patrols in Whispering Hills has warranted close to a dozen speeding tickets and several warnings this week and last week. However while our crew was in the neighborhood from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, a county officer stopped four different drivers who were all on their way home and all speeding.

Niespodziany said, "There has been the cords that tell how many people drive through, so we are trying to see if we could get a speed bump." ABC 57 checked with INDOT to see if in fact they are doing a traffic flow study to gage the traffic flow, however the spokesperson Matt Deitchley said INDOT is not and assumed the traffic flow devices are the counties.

Hardesty wants to know, "If that was a child in the street and they hit it, would they have stopped? Hopefully, but you don't know."

Niespodziany said, "That's kind of concerning that people are just flying through here with little disregard for anything or what they are doing."

Deitchley said they are working with the Whispering Hills South Neighborhood Association to keep drivers from other nearby subdivisions from cutting through this subdivision.

He also explained INDOT is in the process of making more detour street signs that will soon be posted and they are planning an email blitz for nearby residents asking them to travel the official detour route until construction is complete in November.

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