Betsy Ross, Public Information Officer, Governor’s Highway Safety Program, 802-585-9283
Vermont Experiences Increase in Traffic Fatalities
As we approach the end of the first quarter of 2012, the State of Vermont is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of traffic related fatalities which have occurred since the beginning of the year. As of today (March 30th), Vermont has experienced 22 deaths in traffic incidents.
These 22 tragedies are more than double the 9 deaths which occurred during the same time frame in 2011.
In addition, a review of similar time periods during 2008, 2009 and 2010 illuminate the severity of this year’s increases and is a cause for immediate concern. A careful analysis of each of the 22 fatalities, which include five pedestrian deaths, has failed to reach a clear and understandable commonality or recognizable trend.
Municipalities are conducting public education campaigns to heighten public awareness regarding walking on roadways, nighttime activities and the wearing of high visibility clothing and illuminating devices.
The Department of Public Safety is working collaboratively with other state agencies to aggressively investigate, monitor and respond to this current anomaly. Fatal crashes have been plotted, mapped and dissected geographically, temporally, and spatially. This analysis of the 22 fatal crashes has revealed the following common denominators:
* There have been 4 fatal crashes in both Windham and Rutland counties and 3 in Chittenden County. 2 have occurred in Franklin, Washington and Windsor counties and 1 in Bennington and Lamoille. No fatal crashes have occurred in Addison, Caledonia, Essex, Grand Isle, Orange, Orleans counties.
* 6 have occurred on U.S. routes; 7 on VT routes; 0 on Interstates and 6 on local/other roads.
* 6 have occurred on Sunday with Monday (4); Tuesday and Thursday (3) next in order of volume.
* 2 have involved drivers less than 18 years of age.
* It has been determined that 5 of the crashes involved impairment, 3 were speed related and 11 of those killed were apparently unbelted.
The Governor’s Highway Staff working in collaboration with the Vermont State Police data analyst to continue to review each and every tragic fatality.
Local, area specific, data is available for review and analysis upon request. For further information please contact Betsy Ross, Public Information Officer for Governor’s Highway Safety Program at 802-585-9283. For questions relating to detailed crash data please contact Sally Tarabah at Sally.Tarabah@state.vt.us