Police pinpoint risky areas for drivers, see improvements

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SAVANNAH, Tenn. — Police have given citizens a visual way to see where they are most at risk driving through town. In a city depending on tourism dollars for income, those numbers are especially important during the summer months. “Savannah has done a great job building up downtown, and so there are lots of great restaurants to visit, great stores,” said Cynthia Burcham, a consultant at Spalicious on Savannah’s Main Street. With heavier traffic comes heavier patrols for the Savannah Police Department, and after six months of collecting crime and traffic data, officers know where citizens are most at risk. “When they’re looking, driving through an area and go, ‘oh yeah, we have a lot of crashes here and this is the causes of those crashes,’ so it allows us as a department to focus more daily on where these crashes occur,” Savannah Police Chief Gary Will Jr. said. Will has pinpointed the areas of town where the most crashes occur and plans to eventually do the same in examining crime statistics. “All the way back to 1829, it was recorded that in order for the public to protect themselves, they need to know what’s going on in the community, so we’re just going back to the roots,” Will said. What’s pinpointed in green shows accidents on main roads, yellow shows minor streets and red draws attention to fatal crashes. With that data, officers say injury-related car accidents have decreased nearly 60 percent since last year, which is a step closer to keeping Savannah’s citizens safe. “Most people will be involved in a crash, fatal or nonfatal, 25 miles from their home,” Will said. “That’s the most dangerous place for people to drive.” Now the goal is for numbers to transfer to a digital map, both in crashes and crime. To look at individual crimes in the city of Savannah, visit the Savannah Police Department’s Facebook page.

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