Springfield sets record for traffic fatalities in a year in 2020

Published: Jan. 3, 2021 at 1:48 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2021 at 9:41 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The city of Springfield set a record for traffic fatalities over a year in 2020.

Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams says there were 27 traffic fatalities reported from crashes in city limits last year. Nearly half of the deaths, 13, came from motorcycle crashes in city limits.

A Springfield motorcyle shop owner says, in his 30 years of business, he’s noticed more people driving motorcycles recklessly.

“You can’t ever second guess anything,” says Archie Griffin of Archie’s Hog City. “You have to ride the motorcycle, and you have to drive other people’s vehicles. You have to watch out for stop signs, people running lights, people coming up behind you. You have to be their eye.”

Nine people died from crashes with cars or trucks, while five pedestrians were also fatally struck throughout the year.

Back in April, Springfield Police said more people were speeding on the roads because less drivers were out when Greene County enforced the stay-at-home order amid the pandemic.

“Because there’s been less traffic people think they can drive faster,” said Williams. “Motorcyclists absolutely contribute to that. People get out there and wind those things up and they’re not able to handle what they’re doing or we have some who are just absolutely wreckless and have no care or concern for themselves or others.”

Williams says officers will be patrolling areas of Springfield this year where pedestrians are often hit by cars in an effort to increase enforcement.

With some icy conditions and slick roads to start 2021, Williams is also urging motorists to slow down and drive safely. Police have not reported any traffic fatalities so far in the new year.

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