Peachtree City police win U.S. traffic safety award

Interim Police Chief William McCollum briefed council on the award Thursday night. Photo/John Munford.

When it comes to traffic safety, it is hard to beat the efforts of the Peachtree City Police Dept. That work resulted in the department taking top honors in the 2013 National Law Enforcement Challenge for its efforts in traffic safety.

Selected for the award by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Peachtree City was judged against agencies of similar size, those with 25-99 officers, from across the United States. The department’s selection indicates that it has the best overall traffic safety program, according to department spokesman Lt. Mark Brown.

Brown said the award is based on an independent assessment, by subject matter experts from across the country, of the agency’s traffic safety efforts against identified best-practice standards in several categories.

“The evaluation examines areas such as problem identification, planning, policy development, officer training, recognition programs, public information and education, enforcement and effectiveness of efforts,” Brown said. “Peachtree City was the only police department from Georgia to place in this year’s National Law Enforcement Challenge. This is also the fourth consecutive year that Peachtree City has placed in the National Challenge. (The department) has also previously received special awards from among agencies of all sizes across the country for best occupant protection program (Occupant Protection Award) and best innovative use of technology in traffic safety initiatives (Technology Award).”

Looking at traffic safety statistical changes from 2004-2008 compared to the period covering 2009-2013, the data showed a 10 percent decrease in the average number of roadway collisions per year, a 21 percent decrease in the average number of injury collisions per year and a 17 percent decrease in the average number of DUI collisions per year.

In other areas, the department reported a seat belt compliance rate of 98.2 percent at the end of 2013, well ahead of the state average of 95.5 percent. And in 2013, only 1.8 percent of crashes in Peachtree City involved an unrestrained occupant, said Brown.

Brown said only 2.56 percent of roadway collisions in Peachtree City during 2013 resulted from speed-related factors.

“This is significantly below the national average, which varies around 6 percent. This also marked a continual reduction in speed related crashes over the last five years,” said Brown.

Brown said Peachtree City’s traffic safety efforts extend to its multi-use paths as well. During 2013, the department’s path safety efforts contributed to a 17 percent reduction in motorized cart collisions versus 2012, a 19 percent reduction in the number of motorized cart collisions involving injuries and a 13 percent reduction in the number of cart collisions involving a driver under age 17.

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