Guest Blogger, Sergeant Jill McDonnell, Directed Patrol Supervisor
The Uniform Traffic Code for Cities, Townships, and Villages (U.T.C.C.T.V.), Section R28.1124 Rule 124, requires our police department to prepare an annual traffic report that shall be filed with the executive head and ordinance making body of our governmental unit. Per the statute, this report shall contain the following items:
- number of crashes
- number of persons killed,
- number of persons injured
- number of traffic crashes investigated
- the plans and recommendations of the police department for future safety activities
- other pertinent data on the safety activities of the police, as they pertain to traffic and traffic engineering
- other pertinent traffic crash data
The crash data stays consistent year to year with passenger cars being involved in crashes more frequently than any other vehicle. Most crashes occur during daytime hours and peak during the morning and evening rush hours. The most frequent type of crash is the rear-end crash followed by single motor vehicle crashes. This corresponds with the most cited hazardous actions:
Hazardous Action Total
Failed to yield 167
Speed too fast 183
Unable to stop 513
2010 Crash Highlights
In 2010, there were 1439 crashes investigated which is up 2% over the 1412 crashes in 2009. Personal injury crashes are down 8% or 22 crashes over 2009. There was one fatal crash in 2010. The crash occurred on southbound Lapeer Road at Harmon Road. The crash was caused by an elderly driver running the red light on southbound Lapeer Road and colliding with a vehicle that was turning from northbound Lapeer Road on to Harmon Road. As a result of the crash a passenger in the southbound vehicle died. Following this crash the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) began a Road Safety Audit. A Road Safety Audit is a new process developed by the Federal Highway Administration to formally review location(s) where safety problems have been identified, and to provide potential solutions for fixing the safety problems at the location(s). An independent MDOT team, a Road Engineering firm along with Sergeant McDonnell reviewed the Lapeer Road and Harmon Road site and its data over two days. This team then made an improvement plan recommendation to MDOT which is currently being put through the MDOT process for implementation. Sergeant McDonnell will follow this project as it moves through the MDOT process.
Department personnel assigned to patrol took on-line training sponsored by the State of Michigan on identification of crash types and hazardous action coding for crash reports. Both of these on-line trainings were aimed at improving the continuity and consistency of our crash reports. These two factors help to identify engineering issues as well as areas for education and enforcement to reduce crashes and increase safety.
Safe Communities-Traffic Grant
Safe Communities is a series of enforcement initiatives under a grant from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety and Planning (OHSP), administered by the Traffic Improvement Association of Oakland County (TIA). The enforcement initiatives for 2011 will include:
- Impaired Driving enforcement – Over the limit, Under Arrest
- Click it or Ticket
- Night Time Belt Enforcement
This program will reimburse the City of Auburn Hills up to 300 hours of overtime for police officers to participate in the various targeted enforcement details. By participating in these enforcement details, we believe the streets of Auburn Hills are a safer place to travel.
A 2011 goal is to have officers assigned to Patrol attend refresher training in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) and those officers not certified to become SFST certified. We then plan to double the Department’s number of patrol officers certified in Advanced Roadside Impaired Detection and Enforcement (A.R.I.D.E). A.R.I.D.E is an advanced level of field sobriety testing to identify the driver that is under the influence of prescription drugs or illegal narcotics. In 2007, a NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) roadside study found drivers under the influence of a drug 16.5% of the time nationally and drivers impaired by alcohol 2.2% nationally. The Department currently has nine (9) officers that are A.R.I.D.E certified and two Drug Recognition Experts (DRE’s).
Drivers Education Programs
When solving traffic related issues we look at three “E’s”, Engineering, Education and Enforcement. The Police Department will host programs and provide information designed to educate the new and experienced driver:
- Project Prom
- Youth Traffic Safety Month
- Traffic Safety Bulletins
- Nixle.com/Twitter/Social Media
- S.A.F.E. Streets
We are proud to share our 2010 Traffic Crash/Safety Report. We recognize traffic safety is a key element in our community’s quality of life. Furthermore, we are encouraged that the programs we have planned for 2011 will only enhance the excellent reputation of Auburn Hills as a wonderful place to live and work.