Traffic deaths down across the state - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Traffic deaths down across the state

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December 26, 2007

Valdosta - Law Enforcers were busy this holiday weekend, working nearly 4000 crashes resulting in almost 900 injuries and 12 deaths.

Despite those numbers, it appears drivers are being more careful.

"We've been preaching to the public all year and for the past several years the importance of wearing your seat belt, not drinking and driving, leaving early instead of being in a hurry and I think the public is listening," says Commander Brian Childress of the Valdosta Police Department.

The number of Christmas fatalities were 13 fewer than what was predicted and down 10 from this same travel period last year.

Police in Valdosta say city streets also seem to be getting safer.  "We are down to one fatality for the year, where we've had as many as nine or ten a year in the past," says Sgt. Earl Durrance.

Police say better traffic enforcement is also making a difference, as patrol cars are becoming more visible both locally and around the state.

"The past year the traffic unit has taken a proactive approach whether than a reactive approach. We had traffic units working minor accidents, one after the other, all day long. Now we've concentrated the traffic enforcement efforts to a full time job," Durrance says.

Childress adds, "We've increased traffic enforcement in the city. I've also asked the officers to pick up their traffic enforcement in the city when they are not answering calls."

While the numbers are down, the year is not yet over and law enforcers say they'll be guarding the roadways in a continuing effort to keep all drivers safe.

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