Peek said the "T" was the site of nearly 25 percent of the city's 708 reported traffic collisions in 2003. Specifically, Peek said the area between Lisa Avenue and the bypass had the highest concentration of accidents. The total number of vehicle collisions rose 5 percent from 2002 to 2003, but the number of injury accidents rose almost 25 percent.
Peek said many collisions in the area were the result of courteous motorists allowing vehicles to pull out into traffic. A driver, thinking the way is clear, will pull out to cross two lanes of traffic and get hit by another vehicle. He said this is especially true of vehicles exiting the Reno's/National City Bank entrance who attempt to turn left onto Hustonville Road.
"I would never advocate being discourteous to another driver, but you may not be doing them a favor by allowing them pull out across traffic at this particular intersection," said Peek. "Turning left from Reno's or Danville Manor is a risky proposition, and I would discourage motorists from doing so during high traffic times. There are other exits that are not as close to the big intersection that may be safer and will actually save you time."
Peek said other risk factors in the high traffic areas include improper turns and lane changes, failure to yield right of way, disregarding traffic control devices, following too closely and speeding.
Police will be issuing tickets to drivers who drive in an unsafe manner, Peek said.
"No one likes to get a ticket and we hope the word gets around to be extra careful in this area so we won't have the need to issue one," he said. "However, the cost and inconvenience of a citation is negligible in comparison to the cost and grief associated with a collision."
One part of the initiative has already begun, Peek said. State road workers have already installed shields around the lights at May Boulevard to address a visual perception problem with the lights at the intersection of Hustonville Road and the bypass. Peek said drivers reported having problems discerning between the lights at the two intersections as they were traveling east. He believes the shields will cause motorists to focus on the lights at May Boulevard.