Springfield Conference Seeks To Curb Car Crashes

October 30, 2018 - 5:44 pm

By Dave Dahl

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Illinois traffic deaths have edged back up to 1,000 per year, but a conference in Springfield is trying to do something about it.

The Partnering for Zero Deaths conference was at a Springfield hotel Tuesday; lest anybody miss the point, a wrecked car was on display in the parking lot.

Our good neighbors to the northwest shared some strategies and experiences about getting Illinois closer to zero fatalities.

Kristine Hernandez coordinates such a safety program for the Minnesota Department of Transportation and said before all agencies got together, a county engineer would not even know the sheriff, for example, much less communicate; a dispatcher wound up sending the helicopter ambulance to a hospital farther away from the scene because it was in the same jurisdiction as the crash.

IDOT's Cindy Watters, who is in charge of safety programs and engineering, said it's important to bring people and agencies together.

“We’ve brought in the four E’s: engineering, law enforcement, education, and EMS,” she said.“The plan is to get everyone together to work together to reduce the fatalities on the roadways. At IDOT, people think of us as the roadway, the designers, but you can’t engineer your way out of everything.”