Our pages have been filled with lots of tragic news lately, particularly fatal traffic accidents. Within the last three weeks, at least four incidents have occurred either in the Tri-City area or affected those who call this community home. An Armada man died following a Berlin Township crash late last month and then a young Capac mom was killed on her way home from work last week. Last Wednesday and Thursday brought the news of two additional accidents that claimed the lives of an Attica man and Imlay City woman.
It’s a stark reminder that tragedy can show up in familiar places or everyday routines we all have–working on the job or heading home after a long day; at the bus stop or just out running errands.
According to numbers compiled by the Michigan State Police and reported by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), current traffic fatality and serious injury statistics are trending lower than in 2018. As of October 8, 703 people had died on Michigan roadways so far in 2019 and that’s 73 fewer lives lost compared to 2018 at this time. There are 21 fewer serious injuries in 2019 compared to the first nine months of 2018 but that figure, 4,201, is pretty significant.
Fortunately, officials are working to make our roads safer. MDOT is part of an initiative ‘Toward Zero Deaths’ that seeks to enhance driver education, emergency response, enforcement, engineering, policy and communications that can reduce the state’s fatality statistics. A similar program, ‘Vision Zero,’ was launched in the country of Sweden some 20 years ago and their efforts have cut traffic deaths in half, despite the fact that their population is increasingly mobile.
Let’s hope progress can be made on this front so we have fewer tragic stories to report and more people can safely return to their friends and family every day.