ASHLAND, VA (WWBT) - New efforts in Ashland to cut down on traffic crashes. For the next several months, police will be targeting three intersections where crashes have significantly increased this year.
We found an officer monitoring the intersection of Routes 1 and 54 right as you come through the main stretch of Ashland, but it's just one of the places police have eyes on right now.
So far this year, traffic reports show a 60 percent increase in crashes compared to this time last year, and certain intersections are proving to be the most accident prone. The biggest trouble spots are Route 1 at Route 54, Route 54 and Cottage Green Drive, and Route 1 at Ashcake Road. Amber Moore works at the Starbucks between the highest crash spots on 54.
Amber Moore, who works in Ashland says, "It's really bad during rush hours, but during the mornings, it's even worse with the 95 traffic."
Bert Duvall co-owns a business near the third hot spot, Route 1 and Ashcake Road. He believes it's often the construction and accidents along I-95 making things worse in town when people seek alternate routes.
"We always know when there's an accident because you look out here, and either northbound or southbound are just backed up," Duvall says.
According to police, the most common causes of crashes at these intersections are following too closely, failure to yield and overall failure to maintain control: all things that can be prevented. That's why starting this month, Ashland Police are ramping up efforts to keep the roadways safe. Drivers we spoke with believe it will help.
"I think that's going to make it better if they are helping us be better drivers by trying to patrol it more," Moore says.
"Anything they do anything in the interest of safety that's good, and we all appreciate that," Duvall explains.
Officers will continue to monitor these intersections for the next few months or so; they'll then take a look at the results and see if they need to keep it up or start focusing on other spots.
For more information on the top accident locations go to: http://www.ashlandpolice.us/