CULLMAN POLICE DEPARTMENT LEADING THE WAY TO LIMIT TRAFFIC CRASHES

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It is no secret that Cullman is known for automobile crashes. While 2018 was not a good year for crashes in Cullman, Cullman Police Department put plans in place to help reduce the number of crashes and it has made a significant difference. Fatality crashes alone dropped by nearly 60% from 2018 to 2019. In 2020 automobile crashes have already been reduced by 10%. 

2019 TOTAL VEHICLE CRASHES
2020 YEAR TO DATE TOTAL VEHICLE CRASHES

Sergeant Joey Duncan with the Cullman Police Department stated, “our goal is to make a difference and save as many lives as possible.” Cullman Police has been specifically targeting high crash zones that are known for improper driving behavior along with educating the citizens as often as possible. Lidar is a source being ran often during Traffic Blitz Detail and will continue being ran to slow drivers down. “It is not a gotcha situation, we simply want to slow drivers down and be more of a presence to help avoid crashes.” Said Duncan. 

TOP FIVE LEADING CAUSE OF CRASHES

  • Following to Close is still the leading cause of crashes in Cullman. Texting and Driving, being on your phone, and just simply not paying attention all fall under Following to Close. In other words, PUT THE PHONE DOWN, STOP EATING, STOP PUTTING MAKE-UP ON. 
  • Improper Lane Change comes in second place. There are lines painted on roads for a reason. We are taught in driving school what solid lines and dotted lines mean. It is a pretty easy concept but for some reason hard for some to understand. If the line consists of a double solid line, DO NOT CHANGE LANES. If the line is dotted, USE YOUR BLINKER, CHECK YOUR BLIND SPOT, AND THEN CHANGE LANES. Do not attempt to get in a turning lane early. There are dotted lines that direct you when to merge into the turning lane. 
  • Failed to Yield Right-of-Way from Stop Sign comes in a close third-place position. There is a clear reason why that big red octagon sign says STOP. Stop means come to a complete stop, look both ways and at your surroundings. A STOP sign does not mean pull up slowly and go on thru like you own the road. Defensive driving is encouraged at STOP signs. You are the one who can prevent a crash by simply following the law. Being nice and allowing others to go first when it is not their turn is not the best practice. A huge amount of crashes happen due to citizens wanting to be nice. Driving is not the time to be courteous. Hold the door for someone or buying someone’s meal is examples of being courteous.
  • Ran Traffic Light comes in fourth place. We all know this is a hard concept but if the traffic signal is RED, you need to stop. If you approach a YELLOW light, that does not mean speed up. Yellow means slow down, the light is fixing to turn red therefore you need to stop. 
  • Failed to Yield Right-of-Way Making Left or U-Turn rounds out the top five. As you approach an intersection and turning left, always make sure traffic is completely clear before making your left turn. A good practice is to avoid left turns if any way possible.

Speeding is often the answer given when asking why so many crashes but in reality, it is one of the lowest causes of crashes in the City of Cullman. Speeding is almost never a factor in minor crashes but in fatality and major injury crashes it almost always comes into play. Lidar is being ran frequently to help with speeding. The goal is to save lives and prevent crashes. It is obvious with a near 60% decrease in fatalities, Lidar is working and will continue being used often. 

Traffic crashes can always be prevented. The Cullman Police Department is working diligently to reduce the number of crashes but we as citizens can easily do our part. Stay off the phone, slow down, obey the traffic laws, and be a defensive driver.