For Immediate Release
2009 Year-End Crash Report Card
The Traffic Engineering Division of Public Works has prepared the year-end Traffic Crash Report Card for 2009. There were a total of 7,436 reported traffic crashes in Springfield in 2009. This is the lowest crash total for any year since 1997, and is more than 900 fewer crashes than in 1999, the peak year for traffic crashes in Springfield. This achievement is remarkable when considering that traffic volumes have continued to grow during the past 13 years.
There also was a significant decrease in fatal traffic crashes within the city — from 17 in 2008 to 10 in 2009. In 2008, out of 19 traffic fatalities, nine of those killed were riding motorcycles, and many of the crashes involved intoxicated drivers. In 2009, the main contributing circumstance was alcohol; however, there were only two fatal crashes involving a motorcycle or scooter, one involving a bicycle, and no pedestrian fatalities.
Total traffic crashes decreased by 0.7 percent (51 fewer traffic crashes in 2009 than 2008) and property-damage-only crashes decreased by 2 percent (about 140 crashes) compared to 2008. Unfortunately, the number of injury crashes increased by 5 percent (about 90 crashes).
The annual reduction of traffic crashes in 2009 compared to 2008 represents a savings of more than $4.5 million to Springfield motorists based on 2007 data from the Statistics Department of the National Safety Council. The data is used to calculate the average economic cost per incident for crashes that result in property damage, injuries, or fatalities.
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 864-1980. Four additional automated red light enforcement cameras were installed early in 2009, bringing the total of red light cameras to 13, located at 11 intersections.
In 2009, Traffic Engineering made efforts to reduce the number of crashes in school zones through the installation of flashing warning beacons for all reduced-speed school zones, and the installation of high-intensity reflective sleeves on all school-related sign posts. Additional countdown pedestrian signal heads were installed and traffic safety education programs were continued, including the monthly crash report card with safety tips.
For more information, contact: Earl Newman, Director of Traffic Engineering, at 864-1980.