According to the report, there were 185 motor vehicle collisions investigated by local police officers this past year, which is 22 less than the 207 reported in 2008.
Sgt. Camp said it was difficult to pinpoint why there were fewer accidents in Monett last year as compared to the previous year.
"We really don't know why," said Camp. "That's a big unknown."
Several variables, according to Camp, could have affected the traffic numbers, including the four-lane expansion of Highway 60 in Monett.
"There is more room for cars to get around, and MoDOT's new planning system has led to increased road striping and signage," said Camp. "Another variable would be a traffic enforcement increase."
Camp said increased enforcement efforts don't always translate into more tickets being issued.
"The main goal of any traffic stop is education," said Camp. "If an officer believes education can be obtained through a warning rather than a summons, he'll do that."
In addition to a reduced number of accidents in 2009, there was a sharp decrease of 48 percent in the number of injuries resulting from those accidents. Of the 185 collisions that occurred, 23 involved injuries to the driver or passengers, which is 21 fewer than the 44 injuries reported in 2008. Of all the accidents reported, 12 percent involved injuries.
No collisions resulted in fatalities in 2009, which is a 100 percent decrease from 2008 when one fatal accident occurred.
After a decrease in accidents involving property damage in 2008, the number of collisions involving damage to property increased in 2009. According to the motor vehicle collision report, there were 165 collisions involving property damage as compared to 138 in 2008, which represents a 15 percent increase.
"We have seen a steady decrease in injury collisions over the last four years," said Camp. "Collisions that resulted in only property damage have remained consistent over the past four years."
Other highlights of the 2009 report are listed below.
* July was the biggest month for traffic crashes with 24 reported. The lowest month was August with eight.
* Friday was the biggest day of the week for accidents. Of the 185 crashes that occurred in 2009, 44 happened on a Friday.
* The majority of accidents occurred between the hours of noon and 8 p.m. Camp said increases in traffic accidents are consistent with increases in traffic flow around town. More accidents are reported in the 7 to 8 a.m. hour as motorists travel to work, during the noon hour as motorists go to lunch, at 3 p.m. when schools dismiss and from 5 to 6 p.m. as motorists leave work.
* Highway 37 and Highway 60 in Monett were the two locations where accidents occurred most frequently. There were 24 accidents reported along Highway 37 and 53 along Highway 60. There were 17 accidents reported on Cleveland and 12 on Broadway. According to Camp, areas of high traffic volume show a higher number of collisions.
* The stretch of city road where the most accidents occurred last year was along Highway 37 from the Highway 60 intersection to North Park. Monett police responded to 20 accidents there in 2009.
|* Following too closely was a contributing factor in 23 percent of all motor vehicle collisions in 2009, which is the same as 2008. Failure to yield was a contributing factor in 15 percent of all collisions.||"The probable contributing circumstances tend to follow the same pattern regardless of increases or decreases in total number of collisions," added Camp.|