The Florida Highway Patrol has created a new initiative to track high crash areas and devote more law enforcement resources to those spots.
The total number of vehicle crashes in Flagler County dropped from 2015 to 2016, but the number of people killed in crashes more than doubled, according to data released by the Florida Highway Patrol.
There were a total of 1,377 car crashes in Flagler County in 2015, and 12 people killed. In 2016, there were 1,104 crashes, and 25 people killed.
Statewide, both the overall number of crashes and the number of people killed in car crashes rose from 2015 to 2016: There were 374,639 crashes in 2015 and 2,940 people killed, and 391,028 overall crashes in 2016, with 3,053 people killed.
The increase in the number of crashes prompted the FHP to launch a new initiative called “Arrive Alive,” in partnership with other agencies including the Florida Department of Transportation, National Transportation Highway Safety Administration, Florida Sheriffs’ Association, Florida Police Chiefs’ Association and other agencies.
The initiative uses data to assess high crash areas and high crime areas to target law enforcement resources and road safety assessments, according to an FHP news release.
The initiative was unveiled Jan. 17, with press conferences scheduled Jan. 17 to Feb. 13 to provide information about the new program to the public.
Of Flagler, Volusia, Putnam and St. Johns Counties, Flagler saw the most dramatic increase, percentage-wise, in deaths from traffic crashes from 2015-2016.
Other counties had higher numbers, but less of a jump in terms of percentage. Volusia County had 87 deaths from crashes in 2015 and 110 in 2016; Putnam had 20 deaths in 2015 and 26 in 2016, and St. Johns had 37 deaths in 2015 and 35 in 2016.
Of all of those counties, Flagler was the only county to see the 2016 number of overall crashes (1,104) decrease from both the previous year (1,377) and from 2014 (1,202). Volusia had a drop from 2015 (8,854 crashes) to 2016 (8,707). With those exceptions, the number of overall crashes in each of the four counties increased consistently from 2011 to 2016. See the chart below for details.