WALKER – The numbers are in. They could be better, but under “fatalities,” there is a big zero.
The Walker Police Department has compiled the numbers of accidents that occurred in the two roundabouts at Interstate 12 in 2018. The Police Department investigated 148 accidents, or 2.8 a week, according to Capt. John Sharp, public information officer.
“The last time I got an official count, we were averaging just a shade over three per week, and the current number shows that we’re averaging just a shade under three a week, so it seems to be trending downward,” Sharp said.
“I would say that the small reduction is the result of people becoming more familiar with the roundabouts and learning how to negotiate them,” he said.
The total does not include accidents where motorists stop but don’t notify police and leave, Sharp said last fall.
It also doesn’t include where motorists move their vehicles out of the roundabouts and wait for a police officer, he said. Officers have to report where they find the vehicles.
While that might raise the accident total, no fatalities were recorded in the roundabouts in 2018.
And Sharp said another factor might be lowering the accident numbers.
“I would also suggest to you that part of the cause for the drop is that many motorists avoid the area and use alternative areas,” he said.
Work crews are trying to get the overhead lighting connected and operational, Sharp added.
“From what I can see, it appears that DOTD was very generous with regard to the number of lights installed,” he said. “I just hope an aircraft doesn’t mistake that brightly lighted strip as a runway and puts a 737 down near the Walker South/I-12 eastbound exit ramp.
“We’re not equipped to deal with that,” he said.