MDOT Starts Campaign To Eliminate Road Deaths

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WEST MICHIGAN — Traffic deaths on Michigan’s roads are much too common. Those tragedies not only cut lives short, they also leave behind grieving loved ones.

In 2013, so far 440 people have died in Michigan crashes.

“About 90% of all fatal accidents on roadways are because of driver error, driver behavior,” John Richard, Michigan Department of Transportation spokesperson said.

That includes those who are “aggressive, driving carelessly, driving distracted, drowsy, the list goes on and on,” said Richard.

That’s why MDOT is working to get the number of fatalities down to zero with their new electronic billboard campaign. It’s called “Toward Zero Deaths.” The second Wednesday of every month month, drivers will pass road signs that show the number of traffic deaths in Michigan in the calendar year.

“It’s really difficult to measure the effectiveness of this campaign, but we think it’s gonna be a very eye-opening statistic,” Richard said.

These are seven locations where you can spot the signs in the Grand Rapids area. Richard said there are 48 signs in the state.

“Nationally, there’s 35,000 deaths every year in America,” Richard said. “So, if you take out that 90% [of driver error], that drops 35,000 down to 3500 which is still a big number.”

“So, it’s not an impossible goal, but it’s very, it’s a very steep hill we have to climb.”

The campaign runs from July through November.

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