For Immediate Release
Traffic Report Card: Fatalities Increase
City of Springfield Public Works Department has released the August 2012 Crash Report Card for Crashes, containing statistics from Jan. 1 through Aug. 31. There have been 16 fatality crashes (killing 19 people) this year, compared to five fatality crashes in the same time period in 2011. The number of total crashes has decreased by 3 percent and the number of injury crashes has decreased two percent respectively, compared to the same period last year.
Monthly Traffic Safety Theme: Pedestrian Safety
From January through the month of August there were seven traffic-related pedestrian fatalities in Springfield. Most of these seven crashes occurred at night, with the pedestrian entering the roadway against the signal or Jaywalking.
City staff is also seeing an increase of pedestrian and bicyclist's injury accidents. "Young people especially tend to get hit by vehicles when listening to music or being distracted by mobile devices," said Mandy Buettgen, senior engineering technician.
Pedestrians are urged to refrain from walking in the street or crossing streets at mid-block locations and are encouraged to cross streets at intersections, especially those with marked crosswalks and/or stop signs or traffic signals.
"While crosswalks and pedestrian signals provide a good measure of safety, it's important to always look out for turning vehicles while you cross. We recommend wearing reflecting clothing when walking or biking at night. If no sidewalk or shoulders are available, walk facing traffic," Buettgen said.
The City's Traffic Operations Division of Public Works recommends motorists approach pedestrians walking on sidewalks or at intersections, especially careful due to possible intoxication and unpredictable behavior. Before turning at intersections, head-check for bikes and pedestrians that would also have a green or go signal and must be yielded to.
Currently residential neighborhoods on local streets is posted at 25 mph. Studies have shown that the survival chances of an adult person being hit by a vehicle moving at 20 mph is at about 98 percent. When hit at 30 mph, however, about one out of two pedestrians die.
"We urge drivers to use good judgment and even slow down below 25 mph if needed, for example when cars are parked along the roadside and pedestrians may step out," she said.
For more information, contact: Mandy Buettgen, senior engineering technician, at 417.864.1801.