Traffic fatalities on the rise in Effingham County

Despite shutdowns fatalities have increased since 2019 in Effingham County

Traffic fatalities on the rise in Effingham County

EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - While 2020 has seen less people hitting the road it appears that didn’t impact the number of fatal accidents.

In fact, it’s been a rough year on the roads of Effingham County.

“We’re seeing about an eight to nine percent upward trend in total crashes and we’re seeing three percent rise in the number of fatalities on our roadways,” said Deputy Jason Fondren with the traffic division of ECSO.

A trend that is sadly not surprising.

“It’s continued every year over the last decade it’s a steady increase of fatalities on our roadways,” says Deputy Fondren.

In response the Sheriff’s Office has stepped up their presence.

In fact, near the intersection of Midland and Courthouse in Guyton on Wednesday they issued 21 citations in just two hours.

Hoping it will serve as a reminder to slowdown.

“We’re looking to gain voluntary compliance; we don’t want to issue a citation. What we’re doing is we’re trying to educate people and sometimes it takes a citation to get that point across,” Deputy Fondren says.

Although a growing population is partially to blame for this increase in fatalities, Deputy Fondren points to three common mistakes drivers are making.

“A lot of it is associated with speed, distracted driving and seat belt usage.

Last year alone Deputy Fondren says six fatalities involved no seat belts, four of which he feels could’ve been avoided by simply buckling up.

While the Traffic Unit will be out doing their best to keep you safe, at the end of the day saving a life comes down to what you do behind the wheel.

“It’s on the driver, the driver has the ability to control the car,” said Deputy Fondren.

So far in 2020 in Effingham County they have seen 12 fatal accidents, which is an increase from just 10 in all of 2019.

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