Reynoldsburg News

Traffic accidents

Software program tracks data, predicts crash sites

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Using data from a software program that tracks traffic accidents, Reynoldsburg police are cracking down on careless drivers along a section of Brice Road.

Officers in the department's Motor Unit began using a software program called ATACRAIDS earlier this year to track crash data. According to the information gathered so far, a disproportionate number of accidents occurred in the Brice Road area between Eastgreen Boulevard and Rygate Drive.

"This trend is likely to continue, considering the ongoing road construction in that area," said Sgt. Mark Moser, commander of the Motor Unit.

Brice Road from East Main Street past Livingston Avenue to the Interstate 70 interchange is currently being resurfaced and there are lane restrictions, he said.

Sidewalks and crosswalks will also be constructed as part of the $4.8-million project, which was partially funded by an Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) grant of $3.6 million.

Moser said more than 425 motor vehicle accidents citywide have been reported to the police department so far this year, compared with a total of 439 crashes last year.

"At the current pace, the department could receive reports of more than 750 crashes this year," he said.

In 10 percent of the crashes, there were personal injuries and most resulted in costly property destruction, Moser said.

"ATACRAIDS allows us to pull up calls for service and find out when and where they are occurring," he said. "That way, we can predict where we might have problems and concentrate on those areas."

Moser said ATACRAIDS also provides information about traffic crash patterns.

"Besides a mapping feature that shows where crashes have occurred, it displays maps that show where future crashes are most likely to occur," he said.

Department research revealed the majority of the accidents in Reynoldsburg occur when motorists either fail to yield to oncoming traffic or fail to stop before entering a public roadway from a private drive, Moser said.

"We will focus on speeding motorists and people following the vehicle in front of them too closely, which were both factors in the assured-clear-distance-ahead crashes," he said.

The Motor Unit wrote 26 speed citations and gave 22 warnings Aug. 6.

Moser said Aug. 11 that the unit was expected to be out in force again Aug. 12 in the same area.

"We know we have an active construction zone in that area, so the officers concentrated on speed for about four hours Aug. 6," he said. "They expect to do much the same in a follow-up operation Aug. 12."

He said the posted 35 mph speed limit has not changed during the Brice Road construction, but the 26 speeding citations were written to drivers traveling at least 11 miles per hour over the speed limit.

Moser said the crackdown is "to obviously make the road safer for everyone."

"We want to reduce the number of crashes in that corridor and keep the construction workers safe," he said. "We hope that a sustained effort on our part will do that."

He said another possible "hot spot" that showed up on the software was at Lancaster Avenue and East Main Street.

"We will conduct more research on that area to see if more concentration is needed," Moser said.

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