October 16, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

City releases traffic report card, offers traffic safety program to elementary students

The City of Springfield Public Works department has released its most recent traffic crash report card, reflecting crashes occurring Jan. 1-Aug. 31, 2013.

There were seven fatality crashes during this time period, compared to 16 fatality crashes during the same time period in 2012. The number of total crashes has increased by 0.4 percent and the number of injury crashes has decreased by 2 percent, compared to the same period last year.

According to Mandy Buettgen-Quinn, senior engineer for the Public Works - Traffic Operations division, Halloween is the most dangerous day of the year for child pedestrians.

Parents are urged to use good judgment when picking out Halloween costumes for their little ones. Be sure that costumes do not cover the eyes of the children or fit too loosely, causing tripping or even fire hazards. Children should carry a flashlight or glow sticks, and have assistance crossing the street.

Defensive driving is especially important in neighborhoods where there is a lot of walking and biking activity. The injury risk in a crash for pedestrians and bicyclists dramatically increases with the speed of the vehicle.

"Around Halloween, we urge motorists to drive slowly and keep an eye out for trick-or-treaters," Buettgen-Quinn says.

New Traffic Safety Education program

In an effort to promote traffic safety to children, the Public Works - Traffic Operations staff members are bringing pedestrian and bicycle safety education to four Springfield elementary schools in a pilot project starting Oct. 28.

Public Works received Safe Routes to School grant money several years ago, and has now partnered with the Greene-County Health Department, Safe Kids Springfield, the Healthy Living Alliance, Safety Council of the Ozarks, the Parent-Teacher Association, and others to bring active and fun safety lessons to Springfield schools.

Westport, Cowden, Pittman and Bowerman students will receive a visit from traffic engineers and the characters Sully and Kitty from the "Danger Ranger" series; participate in special school assemblies and a walk-to-school event; and learn safety lessons over a four-week time period.

If the pilot project is a success, traffic engineers hope the program will be available at all area elementary schools in the future.

For more information contact: Mandy Buettgen-Quinn, Public Works – Traffic Operations, 864-1801.

city of springfield

Department of Public Works

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