UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - According to the Union County Sheriff's Office, Highway 218 continues to pose problems as more drivers are using the route to avoid U.S. 74 congestion.
"The majority of people that are using 218 are using it as a bypass to get off 74," said Lt. Wes Tyson with the Union County Sheriff's Office.
The county has seen an increase in traffic volume, crashes and speeding violations which has led to targeted enforcement by not only the sheriff's office but highway patrol and Monroe police.
"Anything we can do to slow folks down and make it a safer roadway is appreciated," said Lt. Tyson.
The sheriff's office says they have responded to nearly 500 crashes along the stretch of road since 2016.
"We are doing what we can early on to get ahead of the curve for the summer time traffic that uses this as a cut through to Anson County," said Lt. Tyson.
Many residents that live along Highway 218 say the dangers have only gotten worse.
"We have had our mailboxes torn down. We have dealt with about 18 crashes in our front yard in the past 3 years," said Natalie Snodgrass, who lives right on Highway 218. "It is constantly busy during all times of the day."
Snodgrass's 7-year-old son is not allowed to play in the front yard.
"He is not allowed to be in the front yard at all. He must go out the back door," said Snodgrass. "Everyone is like, 'Oh, I love your house I just do not want to live on 218.'"
Sibyl Simpson has lived along Highway 218 for nearly 60 years with her husband.
"Don't feel safe going to the mailbox and the mailbox is on this side of the road," said Simpson. "They are always losing control a little bit and then running into our yard."
However, Simpson says she is noticing the increase patrols by law enforcement.
"They have been patrolling this road pretty heavily at least I have seen in the past week," said Simpson.
The sheriff's office, along with its partners have set up digital billboards to remind drivers to slow down and to not text and drive.