Improvements being made to Route 3 after fatal accident

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COLUMBIA, IL – Drivers passing through Columbia, Illinois this holiday weekend will see some changes along Illinois Route 3.

A deadly crash that killed a mother of six in February prompted the changes.

Columbia Illinois Police are working with the city and the Illinois Department of Transportation to slow traffic along Route 3 including changes to patrolling as well as on the actual roadway.

Drivers will now notice newly installed rumble strips as they head into town.

There are also more reflective signs, warning drivers of the 45 mile per hour speed limit and upcoming red light intersections.

A black unmarked police car is also aggressively running radar along Route 3. The city hired a new officer specifically for the job.

“We’re trying to get a driver’s attention, that’s our goal,” said Columbia, Illinois Police Chief, Jerald Paul. “We just want compliance. Watch your speed, stop at the stop lights, don’t be distracted, don’t be on devices,” he said.

On February 27th, a mother of 6, Emily Webb, was killed in a crash and two of her children were critically injured when a dump truck driven by 86-year-old Donald Eccher ran a red light. It happened near the intersection of Rt. 3 and Veterans Parkway.

The crash prompted renewed calls by some to step up efforts to make the stretch of road safer.

According to Chief Paul, IDOT has contracted an outside agency to conduct a study on the timing of the lights at intersections to determine if there should be more of a delay on the amount of time a light turns green, to avoid accidents caused should a driver run a red light.

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