Dublin Villager

U.S. Route 33

Accident-prone stretch of highway to get police attention

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In the quest to make Dublin roads safer, police will increase enforcement and their presence on U.S. Route 33.

One of the goals outlined in the Dublin Police Srategic Five-Year Plan, is decreasing the number of traffic accidents in the city.

Focusing on one of the city's most accident-prone stretches could help police achieve that goal.

"One of our overall goals is to reduce crashes," Lt. John DeJarnette said. "To reduce them we need to look at how they happen.

"We know we can only have so much of an impact on crashes, but whatever impact we can have we want to try to make it."

The stretch of U.S. Route 33 between Avery and Frantz roads saw 16 percent of the city's crashes in 2012 and 34 percent involved injuries.

There were no fatal crashes on that stretch of road in 2012 or 2013, but according to crash numbers for 2013 until May, 39 crashes have been reported there already.

DeJarnette said that area is one of Dublin's busiest spots.

"U.S. Route 33 between Avery Road and (Interstate) 270 has 72,000 vehicles per day," he said.

"Between 270 and Frantz Road there are 60,000 vehicles per day... (Interstate) 270 is higher than that, but this is one of the highest (used) areas."

With 122 accidents in 2012 and 39 up to May 2013, the lion's share of crashes on U.S. Route 33 between Avery and Frantz roads are caused by following too closely, DeJarnette said.

"By far, usually following too closely is the main culprit," he said.

"In April 2013 crash data, 41 percent of the crashes were following too closely... . That can mean any number of things," DeJarnette said. "It could be a person is too close to the car in front of them to get stopped and that could be because of speed (or) being distracted."

To combat accidents in the area, police will spend more time there, DeJarnette said.

"A lot of times it's so congested there's not a chance of catching a lot of speeders, but we'll have a presence out there and look for distracted driving (and) following too closely," he said.

"We're also looking to put educational messages out there to warn drivers this is a high-accident area ... . We'll try various strategies to see if we can have an impact."

While police are working to make the area safer, the city is working toward improvements for the U.S. Route 33/I-270 interchange that could help. Construction is not slated until late 2014, though.

"They are looking at improving 270 and 33," DeJarnette said.

"The city has even gone to efforts to move that project forward in time ... . We understand how congested the area is, but in the meantime it is the road we have and we want to make people safe out there.

"Stay alert and drive defensively."

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