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2008 Community Indicators Project; Motor Vehicle Safety

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Sonora, CA — Traffic related fatalities in Tuolumne County have been greatly reduced in 2008 as compared to 2007.

A year ago there were 14 fatalities in the county according to the 2008 Tuolumne County Profile – Community Indicators Project. To date there have been only three fatalities so far this year according to CHP Officer Tom Wills.

Why is this important?

Traffic safety is important to overall community safety. The collection and monitoring of traffic collision data helps evaluate the success of traffic law enforcement and traffic-safety related street and intersection improvements. In our rural area, we have narrow, winding roadways with limited visibility. This makes traffic safety especially challenging.

What is the measure?

Motor vehicle injury and fatality rates were used to measure traffic safety.

How are we doing?

Referencing year 2005 statistics, our injury rate from motor vehicle collisions is 26% above the state average. However, the fatality rate is over 300% higher than the state´s fatality rate.

Over the past five years, reportable* traffic collision rates fell an average of 3.7%. Of the total reportable collisions, fatal collisions fell almost 4%, with an average 11.5% reduction in the number of fatal victims. There was an approximate 7.5% reduction in the number of injury collisions.

As part of an on-going effort to reduce the number of reportable traffic collisions, injuries, and deaths, the CHP Sonora Area and the Sonora Police Department participate in traffic law enforcement grant projects established through the state´s Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). These grant projects provide funding for overtime hours to augment traffic law enforcement within each agency´s jurisdiction.

Additionally, CHP Sonora recently was awarded an OTS corridor safety grant which specifically provides overtime funding for traffic law enforcement. The grant is directed at reducing the reportable collision rates along the targeted 59-mile section of the SR-108/120/49 corridor from the Stanislaus County line east to Pinecrest Lake Road.

Click Community Indicators Project to view the entire 2008 Tuolumne County Profile published by the Sonora Area Foundation.

Written by Bill Johnson