There have been 16 deadly crashes in 2019 that claimed 17 lives, in line with annual crash knowledge collected by The Monroe Information.
Whereas Monroe County nonetheless wants work on the subject of its roadways, residents no less than can say they’ve develop into a bit safer in 2019.
Final 12 months marked the bottom variety of deaths brought on by visitors crashes in three years.
There have been 16 deadly crashes in 2019 that claimed 17 lives, in line with annual crash knowledge collected by The Monroe Information. That’s down from 27 fatalities brought on by 22 deadly crashes in 2018.
2019 fatals – by the numbers
The 12 months marks the bottom variety of deaths since 2015, when simply 15 lives have been claimed in fatalities.
These reductions weren’t achieved by likelihood. Due to designated visitors patrol officers, elevated police presence has appeared to repay by way of holding native roadways protected, in line with state and county legislation enforcement officers.
“With sheriff’s deputies and troopers being seen, it provides motorists reminders to drive extra fastidiously,” stated Sgt. Brian Quinn, head of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Workplace Visitors Companies Division.
The sheriff’s workplace assigns two full-time deputies to the visitors providers division who patrol about 600 sq. miles in the hunt for visitors offenders. These deputies are joined by some hybrid officers who reply to basic police calls, together with patroling roadways.
Equally, the Michigan State Police of the Monroe put up staffs a full-time visitors enforcement (FET) unit, the place troopers conduct high-visibility patrols in visitors sizzling spots all through the county, in line with 1st Lt. Greg Morenko, put up commander. The unit collects detailed crash knowledge to observe drawback intersections and information its five-day-per-week patrols.
“The deputies do an excellent job,” Quinn stated. “Not solely are they dealing with common calls of service, they’re on the highway … I give them numerous credit score.”
2019 fatals – historical past
DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
Of the 12 months’s 16 deadly crashes, simply 4 – 25 p.c – have been deemed drug or alcohol associated, additionally an all-time low for the county.
Greater than half of 2018’s deadly crashes concerned both medication or alcohol, in line with archived knowledge from The Monroe Information. Throughout the previous 10 years of recorded statistics, the variety of drug or alcohol-related incidents has by no means dipped under 25 p.c.
The bottom share in latest historical past was recorded in 2014, when 38 p.c of 26 crashes have been believed to be associated to drug or alcohol use.
The traditionally low variety of deadly drunken or drugged driving got here as a shock to some legislation enforcement businesses, as 2019 was the primary full 12 months after the legalization of leisure marijuana in Michigan.
The Monroe Police Division and officers from Carleton, Erie, Milan, South Rockwood and the state police had been quoted making early predictions that legalization would improve their respective departments’ calls to service.
“Proper now, we see because it’s develop into authorized, numerous deputies are coming into contact with motorists whose automobiles scent like marijuana,” Quinn stated. “In the end, the officers know if the motorist is impaired … however (blood take a look at) outcomes are slower.”
Final 12 months, deadly crashes on April 10 (Milan Township), July 15 (Berlin Township) and Aug. 2 (LaSalle Township) have been related to alcohol use. A June 7 (Erie Township) crash and the identical July 15 crash have been deemed to be drug-related.
Toxicology outcomes nonetheless are pending for a Nov. 18 crash in Frenchtown Township.
“The toughest a part of any officer’s job goes to a household’s house and telling them that their liked one has died,” Quinn stated. “The motorists want to pay attention to the results of what drugged driving, drunk driving may cause. Somebody could be killed.”
WHAT MORE CAN BE DONE?
Whereas officers goal to proceed boosting their visibility on native roadways and focusing on impaired drivers, Quinn defined that sure crashes brought on by medical incidents simply can’t be predicted.
For instance, on April 21, a person was killed within the Metropolis of Monroe after his car struck a tree on N. Custer Rd. close to Ruff Dr. Driver fatigue was believed to be associated to the crash, in line with metropolis police experiences, as the driving force had simply ended a midnight shift and labored the day prior.
Witnesses didn’t report noticing extreme speeds or erratic driving previous to the crash. It’s these situations that drivers should apply defensive driving strategies, reminiscent of watching out for different drivers, quite than simply obeying visitors legal guidelines, Quinn stated.
“Motorists have to be each offensive and defensive drivers, and I might say much more defensive,” Quinn stated. “Individuals might not listen in addition to they may very well be.”
In the end, Quinn added, it’s not about all the time writing tickets when drivers are rushing or overlook a flip sign. What’s typically simpler is giving drivers reminders that their velocity could be harmful to different motorists, he stated.
“Possibly that’s why (deadly crashes) are down,” Quinn stated. “It’s not all the time about issuing citations. It’s that face-to-face interplay.”