Sunday, December 9, 2012

MCSD Traffic Unit - still around?

According to the McHenry County Sheriff's Department website (today), the Department has a Traffic Unit. Well, does it?

It did, back on July 1. That's when there was a single-vehicle, double-fatal crash on Davis Road just outside Woodstock. The Traffic Unit was able to determine that a second car was involved in a drag race with the car that crashed, and the driver of that second car has been charged with felonies.

A never-identified (so far) Woodstock police officer had contact with the driver of the car that crashed only minutes before, at a gas station on Route 47 south of Route 14.

At my last contact with the Woodstock Police Department about that crash, it denied the existence of any report by that officer, who apparently only inquired whether at least one of the two (16-year-old) boys in the car was old enough to smoke. Of course, he didn't know they were 16, because he apparently never asked for ID. And, of course, he had no way of knowing about any drag race in the near future or fatal crash that was going to occur only 2.3 miles east of that gas station.

Perhaps once the case of the driver charged with the felonies is adjudicated, the crash report and report of the traffic investigators will become available, and the identity of the Woodstock officer will become available. Surely, the Chief knows who he is. There must be reports on file.

So, back to the Traffic Unit. Does it still exist?

The MCSD website carries this statement: "Since the implementation of the traffic unit, traffic fatalities have fallen by 85 percent."

OK, what's the deal now? Did fatalities in McHenry County drop from 38 to 9 (down 76%) because of the Traffic Unit? How many fatalities have there been in 2012? - - 27?

If traffic fatalities are rising so quickly and if the Traffic Unit was dismantled, was that a good decision? Who made it?

1 comment:

Gus said...

A reader, who wishes to remain anonymous (for obvious reasons), offers this insight:

"The amount of time, training and equipment used for the traffic division deputies probably resulted in the drop, or prevention, of fatal accidents.

"Those highly trained deputies knew exactly where the "problem" areas were and made a point to correct the problem by traffic enforcement, public awareness, speed reduction and other methods.

"Without the Traffic Division, watch not only for the fatalities to rise, but also for serious crashes to be investigated by less-experienced deputies."