Health and Fitness

How Batavia police are addressing spate of deadly crashes

The Batavia Police division will improve enforcement of distracted and aggressive driving as a response to a sequence of deadly crashes.

“We are kind of dumbfounded here because, since Nov. 23, we’ve had six motor vehicle fatalities in the Batavia area,” mentioned Batavia Mayor Jeffery Schielke. “Many years we don’t have any.”

A crash on West Fabyan Parkway in February killed two individuals and injured three extra. Less than a month later, a six-vehicle crash on Kirk Road left two girls useless and two extra individuals injured. In November, a person was killed in a head-on crash with a Batavia college bus close to Rotolo Middle School.

“We’ve had three fatal traffic crashes; two of those crashes unfortunately were double-fatals, which is atypical and fairly rare for us to have multiple people pass in the same vehicles,” mentioned Batavia Police Deputy Chief of Administration Eric Blowers.

Fatal crashes are also up nationally. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 2020 noticed the very best variety of lethal accidents since 2007.

The company’s 2020 Traffic Crash Data report confirmed that the variety of whole crashes in 2020 decreased by 22% in contrast with 2019, and the variety of individuals injured dropped by 17%. However, the report discovered an almost 7% improve in deadly crashes. The report mentioned that in 45% of the lethal crashes, drivers had been both rushing, impaired or not sporting a seat belt.



Along with elevated enforcement, the Batavia Police Department will present site visitors security data all through April as a part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Blowers mentioned.

“We’re pushing out information on distracted driving, and that’ll be a focus of our enforcement,” Blowers mentioned. “It’s always an area of focus, but we’ll be sharpening our enforcement on distracted driving particularly for this month because of the campaign.”

The metropolis is on the brink of launch its annual “Slow Down” marketing campaign, he mentioned.

“It’s essentially a campaign to get drivers mindful of their speeds, ease up on the pedal and comply with the posted speed limit signage,” Blowers mentioned.

Despite the high-profile fatalities, the Batavia space has seen a gradual decline in all crashes, much like nationwide developments.

“Since 2018 we’ve had a decline, year over year, in total traffic crashes,” Blowers mentioned. “We’re actually trending down, which is common nationally. Total accidents in our jurisdiction have gone down fairly significantly since 2018.”



Blowers mentioned that 2021 noticed the fewest whole crashes in Batavia of the final 5 years.

“We want to continue to make sure our officers are out there being proactive and being highly visible in order to prevent additional tragedies,” Blowers mentioned.

Schielke mentioned that he has spoken with police about what actions town can take to assist mitigate lethal accidents.

“I think (the Batavia police) are out there talking amongst themselves and some of our neighboring departments maybe to see if there’s some commonality of policy or action that we could all take and we would encourage people to do that or not do this or strongly enforce this particular action or whatever have you,” Schielke mentioned. “I think that’s all still kind of in a formative basis. But to have six people killed in a four-month period is pretty monumental.”


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