EUREKA FACES HIGH VEHICLE FATALITY RATE
Just this year, the Eureka Police Department has seen five fatal vehicle accidents, three of which involved alcohol.
“It fluctuates from time to time from year to year,” said Senior Traffic Officer Gary Whitmer. “Some years we have high collision rate and high fatality rate.”
Whitmer says in past years the numbers are low, but it’s been relatively consistent.
“We've averaged about the same number crashes and injury crashes about the same the past ten years.”
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, Eureka has a population of 27,000, it ranks second out of 93 other cities similar in size when it comes to fatal and injury collisions.
“The numbers we put out are the number of collision reports we take,” Whitmer said. “Obviously there have been a lot more collisions in Eureka that are minor in nature just fender benders, and it gets handled civilly where people just exchange information.”
Distracted driving and careless pedestrians are among other reasons for injuries in Eureka.
“There are safety issues with people just not using good common sense— with people running out in the road, we've had two of them on Broadway recently.”
Officer Whitmer said a big misconception is that pedestrians have the right away, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes you have to go back to mom and dad’s golden rule of looking both ways before crossing the street.
Whitmer says there’s not a trend that would cause a fluctuation of vehicle injuries, but having DUI and driver license check points will help keep the reports to a minimum.