Rutherford County father honors son with petition to lower speed limits

Posted at 3:23 PM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 19:17:27-05

LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two days after his son would have turned 15 years old, a Rutherford County father is asking county leaders to lower the speed limit on residential roads.

Chuck Isbell presented a petition to several local and county leaders at the "2022 Meet the Candidates" event in La Vergne. He has worked over the last few months to collect over 260 signatures on the petition which asks officials to reduce the speed limit on all residential roads in the county to 25 miles per hour.

"I don’t want any other family to go through what we’ve had to go through," said Isbell. "Lower speed limits save lives."

On Halloween in 2020, 13-year-old Nate Isbell was hit and killed by a speeding car while he was skateboarding with friends on Powell's Chapel Road. Investigators believe the driver that hit Nate was traveling 43 miles per hour and the speed limit was 35 miles per hour.

"If she had hit him at 25 miles per hour, the likelihood of him surviving would have been greater," said Isbell.

Ever since, his parents have been honoring his memory by working to improve safety for pedestrians in residential areas. They started collecting signatures on a petition and distributing yard signs that read "Keep a Kid Alive. Drive 25." They started a Facebook group for those interested in the cause.

Isbell lobbied the Rutherford County Commission to lower the speed limit to 25 miles per hour in residential areas on Halloween night. Now he wants to see the change become permanent.

"You know I’m never going to get him back, and knowing it could save another child, another parent from going through this, it would be worth everything to me," said Isbell.

A spokesperson for Rutherford County said before the speed limit can be changed, the County Highway and Road Superintendent needs to take the issue before the Highway Commission. Then it must be voted on in the Public Safety Commission. Finally, the Rutherford County Commission must approve the change.

If you would like to sign the petition you can click here.