January 23, 2009

News Release

For Immediate Release

Year-end Crash Report Card

The Traffic Engineering Division of Public Works has prepared the year-end Traffic Crash Report Card for 2008. Last year, total traffic crashes decreased by 4.6 percent (362 fewer traffic crashes) and property damage-only crashes decreased by 4.9 percent (about 280 crashes) compared to 2007. There were a total of 7,486 reported traffic crashes in the City of Springfield in 2008, which is the lowest total for any year since 1997.

There were more than 900 fewer crashes than in 1999, when traffic crashes peaked in the City. This achievement is remarkable when considering that traffic volumes have continued to grow during the past 12 years. An annual reduction of 900 traffic crashes represents a savings of more than $20 million for Springfield motorists based on the average economic cost per crash according to 2006 data from the Statistics Department of the National Safety Council.

However, there was a significant increase in fatality traffic crashes within the City of Springfield, from nine in 2007 to 17 in 2008. The average number of annual fatalities for the years 2003 through 2008 is 18, so the number of fatalities in 2008 is in line with the annual average during the past six years. In 2008, nine of those killed were riding motorcycles, all of which occurred in the first half of the year.

Download a crash history chart for 1997-2008 (40k PDF)

IMPROVEMENTS CONTRIBUTING TO A REDUCTION IN CRASHES

Crash reduction is a result of conscientious and courteous driving by the public in combination with the application of the three E’s  — Engineering, Enforcement and Education. In 2008, Public Works completed the conversion of speed limits on local streets to 25 mph. Citizens can participate in the new Pace Car program to promote safe speeds in neighborhoods by contacting the Traffic Engineering Division at (417) 864-1980. Additional Automated Red Light Enforcement Cameras were installed at seven locations, bringing the total to 12 by the end of 2008.

In 2009, Traffic Engineering will continue efforts to reduce the number of crashes through installation of three more Red Light Enforcement Cameras; installation of flashing warning beacons for all reduced-speed school zones; installation of high-intensity reflective sleeves on all school-related sign posts; installation of additional countdown pedestrian signals; traffic safety education in some elementary schools; and continuation of other traffic safety education programs, including the monthly crash report card with safety tips.

The Public Works Department would like to thank the community for approving the extension of the 1/8-cent Transportation Improvement Sales Tax program in 2008, which during the next four years will fund major intersection and roadway improvement projects, new sidewalks, and pedestrian enhancements.

For more information, contact Public Works Traffic Engineering at (417) 864-1980.

city of springfield

Department of Public Works

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1900 • springfieldmo.gov