By Michelle Batten
With the return of seasonal residents, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit is prepared for more vehicles on the roads. Last season Collier County’s population increased by nearly a third and there were more than 4,500 traffic accidents on local roads. Road Patrol deputies typically handle these crashes. The average collision takes a deputy 20 minutes to complete, not including the time it takes to get to the scene. This has a significant impact on Patrol deputy manpower.
Enter the CCSO Traffic Unit. Starting in December, Traffic Unit deputies began working traffic crash scenes so that Patrol deputies can stay available for high priority and regular calls for service. Traffic deputies are also conducting high-visibility traffic enforcement efforts at high-crash intersections. “We’re doing our best to quickly clear the roadways after crashes to keep the flow of traffic moving safely,” said Lt. Jeff Boyd of the Safety Traffic and Enforcement Bureau.
“We’re also conducting high visibility traffic enforcement and education in identified high-crash areas.” With the increased amount of traffic on our roadways we want to ensure safe travels for everyone utilizing our roads”. The initiative will continue through April 27. Deputies worked a total of 4,695 crashes last winter season, with
19 percent of those crashes resulting in injury. Rear-end collisions were the most common type of crash, making up 40 percent of total crashes.
Most of the crashes were caused by the driver following too closely. More crashes occurred on Thursdays and Fridays than any other day and during peak travel times: 7-8 a.m., 11 a.m. to Noon and 3-4 p.m.
Here are some of the intersections deputies are focusing their efforts on:
– Pine Ridge and Airport-Pulling Roads
– Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard
– Golden Gate Parkway and Livingston Road
– Golden Gate Parkway and Santa Barbara Boulevard
– Immokalee Road and U.S. 41 North
– Vanderbilt Beach Road and Livingston Road
– Collier Boulevard and U.S. 41 East
– U.S. 41 North and Vanderbilt Beach Road
– Airport-Pulling and Vanderbilt Beach Roads
– Collier Boulevard and Vanderbilt Beach Road