Chesterfield second in state for deadly crashes

By Matt Butner - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield County's 30 traffic deaths in 2008 were second only to Virginia Beach, which had 31. With nearly a quarter of a million licensed drivers in the county, crashes are inevitable.

"Rush hour really gets you a lot. They might need more stop lights or stop signs, something like that," said Chesterfield resident Mark McCall.

Mark McCall lives near Hull Street and Genito Road, a busy intersection with the potential for numerous accidents. But it's the county's back roads that worry some drivers, like Archie Fleming.

"Where I live off Newby's Bridge Road, that's a real bad, dark road, a lot of curves. They come through there, people that's used to it, but there's a lot of curves that you could fall into, for people not used to it, and you fall right into the woods," said Fleming.

The numbers come from the DMV's crash facts 2008, an annual report that compiles accident data from sources across the commonwealth.

"The highway safety office collects this data from law enforcement, state police, hospitals, morgues," said Melanie Stokes, Department of Motor Vehicles.

Earlier numbers showed that the number of traffic fatalities, statewide, fell from more than a thousand in 2007 to 821 last year.  But this new report breaks the information down further, and contains much more material that public safety officials can use...such as the time of day you're most likely to crash, which happens to be between 3 and 6 p.m.

"We want to save more lives in the commonwealth by making roads safer, by making driving conditions safer, by educating the public on when crashes are occurring, why and where, and that way we can prevent them," Stokes said.

Chesterfield isn't the only locality high on the list. The city of Richmond ranked number five with 20 deadly crashes last year.

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