Newly released statistics for traffic accidents in the city of Shawnee show a gradual decrease, and to date for 2013, there's been zero fatality traffic accidents in the city limits as well as a reduction in the number of injuries.
In 2010 and 2011, there were three traffic-related fatality crashes in Shawnee while two were killed in 2012.
As far as total traffic accidents worked, there were 808 in 2010, 813 in 2011 and 709 in 2012. Numbers for 2013 are 494 as of October.
"Although our fatality numbers are small, it is outstanding that we have not had to work one fatality," said Chris Thomas, administrator of support services with the Shawnee Police Department. "I am sure there is not one person in this community that wants an officer to knock on their door to tell them that a loved one has been killed in a motor vehicle collision."
So far for the year, the numbers of those being injured in traffic accidents is also on the decline. There were 173 reported injured in both 2010 and 2011, then 197 in 2012. So far in 2013, those injured total 126.
"We still have too many people being injured just going to work, shopping, out for dinner," he said, adding they want everyone to have a safe holiday season.
"We also ask everyone to not be distracted while driving, so don't text and drive," he added.
Thomas said police believe extra traffic campaigns and enforcements are helping.
In October, Shawnee police arrested 11 intoxicated drivers, and of those, nine of them were driving on Harrison or Farrall Street, which is one of the three safety corridors in this area.
The Safe Corridor program was implemented a little over a year ago with Shawnee and Tecumseh police, Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office being involved.
"We wanted to focus on educating the community that our injury and fatality numbers were too high in Pottawatomie County compared to most other Oklahoma Counties," he said. "Too many of our neighbors were being severely injured or killed in our County."
Since the kick-off the safety corridors patrols, all of the agencies have been working hard to lower the numbers thereby keeping citizens safe and going home to their families, Thomas said.
An example, Thomas said, was the night of Oct. 12. In just a few hours, two officers on overtime enforcements issued 18 citations and made one DUI arrest, with all of the stops made on the safety corridor. Thomas said in October alone, Shawnee officer worked 54 hours just looking for those driving under the influence of alcohol and not wearing seat belts.
The department's newest grant efforts focus on DUI and occupant protection.
With the holidays approaching, Thomas said everyone at the police department asks everyone to please be patient, give themselves plenty of time to get to their destination and to always wear their seat belts.