For Immediate Release
Year-end Traffic Crash Report Card released
The Traffic Operations Division of the City of Springfield Public Works Department has prepared the year-end Traffic Crash Report Card for 2012. Public Works set a goal of providing improvements to help bring total annual crashes below 7,000. There were a total of 6,922 reported traffic crashes in Springfield in 2012 - the lowest total traffic crash count for any year since 1997. This decrease occurred as traffic volumes have continue to increase.
Unfortunately, there was a significant increase in fatality traffic crashes. Up from 11 in 2011, to 20 in 2012, killing a total of 23 people. Seven of those killed were pedestrians. Out of the 20 fatal traffic crashes, at least 11 crashes involved alcohol or other drugs.
Total traffic crashes decreased by 4%, the number of injury crashes decreased by almost 8%, and property damage only crashes decreased by 3% compared to 2011.
Crash reduction is a result of conscientious and courteous driving by the public in combination with application of the three E's (Engineering, Enforcement and Education), says Mandy Buettgen, Senior Engineering Technician.
- In the last two years, Public Works replaced most traffic signs with new, brighter signs that are more visible. City crews are also switching to thermoplastic road markings, rather than paint, as thermoplastic has a longer life span and is far more visible under adverse weather conditions.
- Traffic Operations is also improving multiple intersections by adding left and right turn lanes, and building sidewalks which reduce a pedestrian's risk of an on-street collision by 83%.
- Public Works is working with Springfield schools to increase the safety for students coming to and from school.
- At the Transportation Management Center, traffic engineers form the City and MoDOT have been working on retiming the City's signal system to maximize traffic flow.
"The number of pedestrians that were hit by cars this year is concerning," says Public Works Director Phil Broyles.
The amount of fatalities due to impaired driving in Springfield is an area the City is hoping to address through public awareness and education.
A "Drive 25," message will be used to address speeding in residential neighborhoods. Obeying the speed limit is especially important when it comes to vehicle-pedestrian collisions, A pedestrian that gets hit by a vehicle at 20 mph has a survival chance of 95% - compared to a person being hit at 40 mph, who would be unlikely to live, Buettgen says.
The following sign will be added to the local crash report card signs to raise awareness of our community's losses due to traffic crashes, especially those involving alcohol and other drugs.
Download a higher resolution Report Card graphic.
For more information, contact: Mandy Buettgen, City of Springfield Public Works Department, (417) 864-1801.