Chattanooga sees spike in traffic-related deaths

Chattanooga sees spike in traffic-related deaths

May 16th, 2019 by Staff Report in Breaking News

There have been twice as many traffic fatalities in Chattanooga this year, a statistic that has local law enforcement and transportation officials concerned.

So far this year, there have been 32 deaths. That's double the number of fatal crashes for all of Fiscal Year 2018, according to the Chattanooga Police Department.

"Each of those fatalities represents a mother, a father, a son, a granddaughter, a wife who didn't make it home to their families and is now missed by their many loved ones," said police Chief David Roddy in a statement Wednesday.

The primary contributing factor in these fatal crashes is speed, the release states, adding that it "is a behavior that some drivers engage in without recognizing the risks or considering the consequences."

In an effort to address the problem, the police department and the city's Department of Transportation said they will begin looking at engineering, education and enforcement measures.

Those include:

  • Identifying high-risk areas and projects to make improvements.
  • Reviewing traffic control devices to improve the visibility and clarity of the messaging.
  • Reviewing street lighting at each location.
  • Providing drivers with information about travel speeds and safety issues associated with speeding.
  • Increasing drivers' awareness of enforcement efforts designed to address speeding.
  • Equipping some marked police vehicles with moving radar units to determine that drivers of motor vehicles are complying with the legal posted speed limit.

"We should do everything possible to assure that all Chattanoogans can move around on our streets both comfortably and safely," CDOT Administrator Blythe Bailey said in the release.