The speed limit sign and a s speed monitoring device inside Fort Jackson's Gate 2 June 21, 2022. The speed limits just before active barriers have changed to 25 mph to give drivers time to react to the barrier rising if activated. (By Alexandra Shea)

Speed limits reduced at gates

By Alexandra Shea, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Speed limits at Fort Jackson Gates 2 and 4 have officially changed to 25 mph now that force protection barrier installation has been completed.

“The speed limit recently changed and is now 25 mph,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Taylor, Physical Security noncommissioned officer-in- charge, 17th Military Police Detachment. “Since we installed the barrier systems, 25 mph allows drivers to react to the barrier if it is activated.”

The active barrier system are metal plates and rails that are embedded in the road and can be raised at a moments notice by guards to prevent unauthorized personnel and vehicles from entering the installation. The recently installed mental railing running alongside roads are the passive barriers and can trap vehicles to prevent them from being driven around the active barriers.

A speed detection trailer has been placed near Gate 2 to warn drivers of the change in speed limit.

“They are there to help notify the community of the change,” Taylor said. “Sometimes people are so used to seeing the usual speed limit there they are there to help.”

Taylor said the trailers will remain in place for about a month to continue to let drivers know the speed limit has changed. Taylor said during this time warnings to speeders will be given. After that, drivers exceeding 25 mph can expect monetary citations to be issued.

“Depending on how fast you go will depend on how much money the citation will be,” Taylor said. “It could be anywhere from $75 to $500 depending on what your speed is.”

Taylor also talked about what to do when the active barriers are activated. He explained how once activated, amber lights before and above the barrier will begin to flash. Drivers should stop before the barricade to avoid vehicle damages. Soon after the amber lights flash, a red light will flash alerting drivers that the barriers are now engaged and moving. Drivers should not stop or attempt to drive over barriers during this time.

“Once that barrier starts to move upward, there is no stopping that chain reaction,” Taylor said. “When drivers see those amber and red lights, they need to come to a stop before the barrier.”

“Should someone find themselves in a position where they are on top of the barrier, drive forward enough to get off the barrier. Those barriers have the capability of lifting a vehicle” he said. “It’s a very unlikely scenario though.”

The message is clear, once amber or red lights begin flashing drivers should immediately stop before the barriers and not attempt to outrun the flashing lights. Taylor explained that a driver already attempted this action which resulted in massive vehicle damages.

“It tore a lot of stuff out from under the vehicle,” he said. “I’m not sure how much damage was done but it was most likely totaled.”

The drop in speed limit may seem like a hinderance to those going about there day, but Taylor explained that it is there to keep the Fort Jackson community safe.

“Our number one goal is to resolve issues quickly and keep traffic flowing at the gates,” Taylor explained. “We are doing this to keep you safe.”