Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Are the red light cameras actually causing an increase in accidents ??

There have been 13 fatality crashes in Springfield during the first nine months of 2008, compared to four during the same period last year. Injury crashes and total crashes were down by 2 percent and 5 percent, respectively, over the same period last year. There were 5,479 total crashes from January 1 to September 30. Traffic crash statistics are tracked by the Public Works Department.

Download the September 2008 Crash Report Card (32k PDF)


The traffic safety theme for the month of October addresses pedestrian safety. There were 34 crashes involving a pedestrian from January through September 2008, compared to 32 pedestrian crashes in the same time period in 2007. In all but one instance, pedestrians were injured in these crashes though fortunately there have been no pedestrian fatalities. Many of these crashes have occurred at mid-block locations without a stop sign or signal. Pedestrians are urged to refrain from crossing streets at mid-block locations and are encouraged to cross streets at intersections, especially those with marked crosswalks and stop signs or traffic signals.

At traffic signals, pedestrians need to be aware that a “walk” indication does not guarantee a safe passage, and that approaching motorists may not see the pedestrian or always yield. When crossing at an intersection with a green traffic signal or a “walk” indication, pedestrians should especially watch out for vehicles making right turns across their path from the adjacent street.

Motorists need to “Drive Responsibly” and be alert to the possibility of a pedestrian entering the street. Motorists should slow at crosswalks and watch for pedestrians at all times, especially when making right or left turns, and be mindful that the pedestrian has the right-of-way, whether in a marked crosswalk or not.

Drivers should be especially alert for children walking to school when traveling on residential streets and during hours of darkness. Children are known to dart out in front of cars into the street, which is one of the many reasons Springfield is reducing the speed limit to 25 mph on neighborhood streets. We encourage all motorists to “Drive Responsibly,” so that they will not be involved in a crash and become a statistic. One of the ways residents can help make Springfield a safer community is join our “Pace Car” program. Participants place a decal in their rear car window and set a good example in their neighborhood by setting the pace of 25 mph on neighborhood streets. For more information this program call the Traffic Engineering Division office at (417) 864-1980, or sign up online at The same Web page also provides walking route maps for each Springfield elementary school, suggesting the students’ route to school based on traffic safety and pointing out possible hazards to parents.

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