For Immediate Release
April Crash Report Card
There have been three fatality crashes in Springfield during the first four months of the 2009, compared to three in the same time period in 2008. The number of total crashes has decreased by 1 percent, while the number of injury crashes has increased 2 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year. There have been 2,319 total crashes from January 1 to April 30. Traffic crash statistics are tracked by the Public Works Department.
Download the April 2009 Crash Report Card
MAY SAFETY MESSAGE
In the past, the majority of vehicles using our roadways were automobiles and trucks. Today, there is a trend toward an increase in alternative modes of transportation on our city streets. Street designs that provide for alternative modes of transportation are referred to as “complete streets.” This new design approach strives to accommodate all users of the streets, including bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as citizens who use wheelchairs. Those modes of alternative transportation have been growing noticeably over the past few years for several reasons, such as health benefits, environmental awareness and leisure, or as a response to increased gasoline prices and our present economic situation. While the City of Springfield is making an effort to accommodate the increased need to make the roadways more multi-modal-friendly, motorists themselves need to develop the habit of looking for people who are taking to the streets using alternative modes of transportation.
Local crash data clearly shows the need to address pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle crashes in our community:
In 2008, there were a total of 17 fatal traffic crashes in Springfield with 9 involving motorcycle drivers. There were only two motorcycle fatalities on Springfield’s roads in 2007. Through April 30 of this year, there have been 21 pedestrian crashes, of which 17 sustained injuries. In 2008, there were “only” 13 reported crashes involving a pedestrian in that same time period — with a yearly total of 53 pedestrians hit in Springfield. Also, through April 30, 2009, 16 bicyclists have been hit by motor vehicles, of which 13 sustained injuries. In the same time period in 2008 there were only 6 bike crashes. Throughout the year of 2008, a total of 71 bike crashes were recorded.
The numbers of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycles on our roadways are increasing, which is overall a positive development for our community. However, on the down side, most motorists have not yet realized that they also must adapt to having these alternative forms of transportation on our roadways.
Motorists need to develop safe practices, such as:
- Before making a right hand turn, always check your right mirror and blind spot for bicycles approaching on your right, and check cross streets for pedestrians and bikes that may be entering the street.
- Before making a left turn, check for on-coming motorcycles and bikes, and check the street for pedestrians walking in the crosswalk to your left before you turn. Motorists must yield to pedestrians whether they in or out of marked crosswalks.
- Always be extra alert when there is on-street parking, for pedestrians and especially children, who may step out between parked cars.
- After parking your vehicle, turn your head and check the street for bicyclists that may be approaching from the rear before you open your car door. Checking the car mirrors will not suffice.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Mandy Taylor in Public Works, Traffic Engineering at (417) 864-1801.
Further driving tips are also provided by the Springfield Police Department: http://www.springfieldmo.gov/spd/GeneralInfo/traffictipidx.html