GPS maps dangerously lead trucks through neighborhood

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – If you had to deal with 18-wheelers driving through your small neighborhood on a regular basis, you might not be too happy about it.

Residents along Pinewood and Holliday drives are tired of trucks making their way through the neighborhood.

“The trucks cannot be on there,” said Lt. Jason McDaniel with the Beckley Police Department. “I know I answer a lot of phone calls from residents that live up there complaining about not only the traffic, the speeding. The trucks are dangerous. They can’t travel that road. They don’t fit.”

Lt. McDaniel spends at least three hours every week keeping an eye on the traffic along the busy road, something the residential area wasn’t built for.

“The [general] car traffic alone, it wasn’t designed for that much traffic. Now, with the tolls being raised on the interstate, the tractor-trailers have started going through there.”

The roads are marked to let people know trucks aren’t welcome, but that hasn’t made a difference. When McDaniel tickets a trucker, they tend to say the same thing.

“Everyone I’ve pulled over has told me the same thing: ‘I’m just following my GPS,” said McDaniel.

Lt. McDaniel says it seems that he has had to ticket truck drivers less frequently since he’s started enforcing the restrictions.

“Two of the apps are just like the basic maps that you have on your phone: Google Maps or Apple Maps,” said Beckley Councilman-at-Large Cody Reedy. “Another one [Chief Christian] says is very common that these tractor-trailer drivers are using is called [Waze.]”

Now, officials hope that contacting the GPS companies might be the answer.

“I’m going to be in the process of trying to get in contact with them to see if we can take this route off their maps,” said Reedy.

There is no guarantee that the apps will stop directing traffic through the community, but hopeful officials are looking into it.

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.