Starke Highway Safety Plan Results in Fewer Wrecks

starke-county-courthouseThe safety program implemented in March 2013 by the Starke County Highway Department is apparently paying off. Superintendent Rik Ritzler cites crash data from the state.

“Our crashes in the past two years have dropped dramatically. It was at 196 in 2012, 154 in 2013 and 128 in 2014. We believe it’s even lower than that in 2015. They should be getting those statistics out sooner this year because they have it more automated than they’ve had in the past.”

Ritzler shared that data with the county commissioners last week. He says a lot of factors are responsible for the drop in the number of crashes but notes the safety program plays a significant role.

He says the drop in wet roadway crashes are due to snow removal protocols, while animal and intersection crashes are lower because of the county’s brush clearing program. The wet roadway crashes, animal crashes have gone down. Intersection crashes have gone down.

The state data also compares Starke to other rural counties in the area. It looks at crashes per 1,000 residents, in which Starke is the second lowest around. Ritzler says the highway department intends to continue the safety program. It involves the continuous identifying of improvements, such as brush cutting, and monitoring to make sure they are done in a timely fashion.