Patrols cut road dangers

In the past year, Richmond County police say they have seen a drop in several types of dangerous accidents.

Recently released numbers from 2007 show efforts to increase speed enforcement on some of the county's busiest roads have led to reductions in the number of injuries, crashes and fatalities, according to sheriff's Sgt. Pete Lamb.

He said the department has tried to have more visibility.

"I think folks may have started getting used to or expecting speed enforcement more often, particularly on Bobby Jones and some of the areas where speed is really a problem," Sgt. Lamb said.

The number of fatal wrecks decreased by 11 percent with 32 deaths in 2007, while the number of crashes with injuries dropped by 1.5 percent, statistics show. Reductions were also seen in crashes without injuries, and speed-related crashes.

Sgt. Lamb said problems still remain on such areas as Interstate 20, where the recent construction work has made it more difficult to catch speeders.

"They've taken the shoulders away for most of that stretch, so we've got no place to sit to get anybody, and certainly if we had a place to get them, there is no place to pull them over," he said.

He said the department has increased the number of cars that patrol near the work zone and the frequency with which they visit the area.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

2007 TRAFFIC STATISTICS

ACCIDENTNUMBERPERCENT REDUCTION
Fatal wrecks3211.0
Crashes with injuries1,5571.5
Crashes without injuries6,8266.8
Speed injury crashes14226.0
Non-injury speed crashesN/A31.0

Police also made 1,511 DUI cases, issued 9,459 speeding citations and 2,556 citations for seat belt and child restraint violations.

Source: Sgt. Pete Lamb