The Richland County Safe Communities Coalition reports that for the month of December there were no traffic deaths in Richland County. There were six total traffic-related deaths for 2016 in Richland County. This marks the lowest total for traffic fatalities since the Richland County Safe Communities Coalition was formed in 2003. The record low follows the second worst year for traffic fatalities as there were 17 in 2015. And in 2011 there were five traffic fatalities in December alone.
Here are five-year totals of traffic-related fatalities in Richland County for December and for the year:
Year December Total for Year
2016 0 6
2015 0 17
2014 2 12
2013 2 9
2012 0 12
According to a National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) study of costs for traffic fatalities*, each fatality has a comprehensive cost of $1.4 million associated with it. The six traffic fatalities this year cost Richland County $8.4 million.
“Traffic-related fatalities are nearly always avoidable,” said Reed Richmond, Health Educator at Richland Public Health and a member of the Richland County Safe Communities Coalition. “They usually result from poor driving habits such as speeding, tailgating or aggressive driving, and poor operator decisions such as impaired driving, distracted driving, including cell phone use or texting, or not wearing seat belts or motorcycle helmets.”
Richmond praised all law enforcement agencies in Richland County, partners in the Safe Communities Coalition, for their vigilance. “It’s important for us to encourage seat belt use and discourage impaired driving,” Richmond said, “but we need law enforcement out there to drive the message home. Both parts are working together to ensure a safer Richland County.”
Source: Richland Public Health