Traffic fatalities down in Longview

For one East Texas city traffic deaths are down by nearly half from a year ago.  Longview roadways are safer, that's according to the latest statistics released by the police department. In 2007, there were 19 fatalities on Longview roadways.  In 2008 only eight fatalities.

"We're very happy with those numbers being reduced,as far as,the actual causation of it, there's a lot of speculation, there's nothing concrete, said Sergeant David Scott of the Longview Police Department.  More patrols and red light camera intersections may have made drivers more conscientious.

"I think that the red light have something to do with contributing to the accident decrease cut in half in the past year," said Longview motorist Branden Johnson.  One of the answers might be on Loop 281.  In previous years, they've had high incidents of accidents, but since the city installed medians here those rates have gone down significantly.  U-turns and merging into traffic caused several accidents before the medians went up.

"I think they're a help because some people don't know how to drive, they don't know when to cross over, so this actually steers them the right way," said Longview resident James Goodwin. But some Longview residents think there are much more practical reasons for a safer 2008.

"I think more so because the price of gas has risen in the past year, and there are people being more conscious of how they travel," said Johnson.  Regardless, police and motorists hope the roads will continue to get safer.

"Something's working and the police departments is going to continue this aggressive proactive response," said Scott.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting.