Farmville's 2010 Crash Total Was Lowest On Record

Published 4:05 pm Thursday, January 27, 2011

FARMVILLE – July was the safest month for motorists in Farmville last year.

There were only two accidents in 31 days.

But all of 2010 was pretty good to those behind the wheel in town.

Email newsletter signup

“The total for the year was 101,” Police Chief Doug Mooney reported to Town Council this month.

Records go back to 1990, he pointed out, and “this is the lowest number of crashes, at least in the last 20 years.”

The police chief's reaction?

“It's notable” and “a good thing,” he told council members as he delivered the police department's annual motor vehicle accident report.

Furthermore, according to Chief Mooney there was only one crash that resulted in injuries.

“Very low,” he said.

But how did it happen?

Asked to what he attributed the low 2010 crash total too, admitted, “I think it's partly luck” but also stated “I think it's also the enforcement by the officers at key intersections.”

There were only four months in 2010 where the crash totals hit double figures-14 in November, 13 in January, 11 in August, and 10 in April.

Total damage from the 101 crashes was set $610,450.

“Our high crash locations are no surprise,” the police chief said. “It's the busy intersections that are controlled by traffic signals.”

Lots of vehicles in one place.

South Main saw the most accidents, with its intersections with Milnwood Road and Peery Drive topping the list, but even those totals were eight, for the year.

There were four accidents each at South Main and Reed Street and West Third and Buffalo Street, while East Third and Milnwood Road saw three accidents in 2010.

“The one that was more of a surprise was West Third and Buffalo,” Chief Mooney said, “and I think that might be because of the new access road (Cormier Drive) going back to the apartments (Longwood's Lancer Village student housing and intramural fields).

“But there were no surprises other than that…” he said.

“Crashes,” he succinctly said, “are down.”

When asked about traffic signals and their impact on accidents, the police chief said “the traffic signals seem to working properly for the traffic flow,” again attributing the low crash total to a mixture of luck and the department's officers being “in the right places enforcing the law.”

There were 106 crashes in 2009 and 135 in 2008.

Town Manager Gerald Spates said he believes “one key thing” that also helped prevent accidents was the turning arrows at South Main's busy intersection at the Wal-Mart shopping center and the fact they weren't holding traffic up.

“I think we had a lot of accidents there” before the protecting green arrow signal was installed, the town manager said.

Spates also pointed out that all of the town's major intersections now have back-up batteries for their traffic lights if there were a power outage. “They'd work for four hours” on the batteries, he noted, and so the power outage “doesn't tie the police officers up” directing traffic by hand.

“And that's a very helpful thing for us,” Chief Mooney replied, “and for the safety.”