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Years of deadly crashes prompts more traffic safety efforts by El Paso police

The El Paso Police Department is working with the city’s Streets Department to reduce the number of deadly traffic crashes after about 250 deaths were reported in the last 4 years.

According to a power point presentation given to city council this week, “Traffic Engineering and Police Special Traffic Investigation (STI) Unit share data on pedestrian and vehicle fatalities in order to gain understanding on trends and factors to use as an information tool for potential safety improvements, enforcement, and public education efforts. “

In the last 4 years, there have been 244 deadly crashes on El Paso’s 6,117 streets.

“What we need right now is a proactive approach, and that proactive approach is enforcement and education of the public to remind them that driving is a serious thing and not to be taken lightly,” said Police Chief Greg Allen.

There are currently several policies in place including Safe Communities Program Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP) and continuous Lighting of Arterial Roadways.

In 2019, $40 million was approved to light 25 top arterial streets. Some of those are the most traveled streets with the most crashes.

District three representative, Cassandra Hernandez says she’s received an influx of complaints for people running red lights after the Red Light Cameras were turned off by Governor Greg Abbott in June.

Chief Allen says there is no statistical data that shows an increase of red-light runners yes, but that is something they are monitoring,

“There’s just one less tool that I think make people stop and think because that is something that people forget,” said Chief Allen.

Police and the streets department are working to better coordinate with police. They have issued quarterly meetings to discuss every single deadly crash that happens.

When we come together, and we look at it from both an enforcement and engineering standpoint, we’re able to make much better decisions on what the factors involved in a certain accident might have been and how to we mitigate those moving forward in the future,” said Justine Bass, lead planner for the city’s Streets and Maintenance Department.

They are also mapping data hot spots where the most crashes happen.

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KVIA ABC-7

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