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Michigan traffic deaths fall 5 percent in 2011


Fewer people died in Michigan traffic crashes last year, driven partially by significant declines in motorcyclist fatalities, commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities and alcohol and drug involvement in fatal crashes. Traffic deaths dropped 5 percent, from 937 in 2010 to 889 in 2011.

Statewide crash information is collected by the Michigan State Police (MSP) Criminal Justice Information Center.

Changes from 2010 to 2011 included a 1 percent increase in total crashes, up from 282,075 in 2010 to 284,049 in 2011; and a 2 percent increase in crash-related injuries, up from 70,501 in 2010 to 71,796 in 2011.

Crash data also showed a 3 percent drop in alcohol-involved fatalities, down from 283 in 2010 to 274 in 2011. Drug involvement in fatalities fell 17 percent, from 153 in 2010 to 127 in 2011.

“It is extremely good news that traffic deaths are down in 2011,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, MSP director. “Further study will take place to see if we can determine what may have caused the fairly large changes in the areas of motorcycles, commercial motor vehicles and drug involvement in fatal crashes.”

In other areas:

Cell phone-involved crashes decreased from 881 in 2010 to 821 in 2011. Cell phone-involved fatal crashes increased from four in 2010 to six in 2011.  (Michigan cannot track crashes involving texting specifically.)

Commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities fell 23 percent, from 95 in 2010 to 73 in 2011.

Motorcyclist fatalities dropped 13 percent, from 125 in 2010 to 109 in 2011.

Bicyclist fatalities were down 17 percent, from 29 in 2010 to 24 in 2011.

Pedestrian fatalities increased 6 percent, from 131 in 2010 to 140 in 2011.

The number of car-deer crashes declined 4 percent, from 55,867 in 2010 to 53,592 in 2011.

 

 

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Crash data going digital


Law Enforcement Agencies receive grant for electronic crash reporting

Keeping up in the age of blackberries and Wi-Fi is no easy task, but for 59 Michigan police agencies, including the Law Enforcement Agencies of Montcalm County, a federal grant will allow them to move traffic crash reporting to an electronic system.
With the addition of these agencies, approximately 450 of Michigan’s police agencies will now be reporting crashes digitally. The upgrades have been paid for with more than $3.6 million in grants administered by the Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) over the past four years.
Grant funds will allow agencies to upgrade and enhance their crash reporting systems to allow officers to record the details of a crash via in-car computers. Program costs include necessary equipment, software, connectivity wires, electronic license readers as well as training.
“By outfitting police cars with the computers and software necessary to record crash data electronically, the data is processed faster and more accurately,” said Howard City Police Chief Steven DeWitt. “With the ability to report crash data electronically, we are well on our way to a less expensive, more modern system.”
Since electronic crash reporting began in Michigan in 2003, the processing time has dropped from an average of 103 days to just 15; the number of errors on crash forms has also declined due in part to the electronic system.
Crash reports will be typically completed and transmitted to the state the same day it occurred, allowing those involved to download the crash report to their own computers from the State of Michigan website once it is processed by the state.
Each agency was required to submit a grant application for the funds.
The Grant was applied for on behalf of the combined Law Enforcement Agencies in Montcalm County in a continued effort to consolidate Law Enforcement Efforts and to apply for beneficial grants as a whole to reduce costs and continue to make services more efficient and less costly.

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