State police said the headcount in its division of operations, the primary division responsible for traffic enforcement, has dropped from 1,849 in 2009 to 1,462 today because of retirements and attrition.
“No layoffs have occurred,” the ISP said in a statement. “The ISP is working within the budgetary environment by continuously exploring efficiencies, redistributing resources and staffing to meet public safety needs, particularly in high fatality zones.” […]
According to numbers provided to GateHouse Media Illinois, the number of traffic fatalities statewide has risen from 924 in 2014 to 998 in 2015 to 1,029 for this year through Friday.
While that number is up the past two years, it is still significantly lower than 15 years ago. In 2001, there were 1,414 fatalities, and in the 1970s, the number of fatal crashes each year was in the 2,000 range.
The ISP says the increasing the speed limit to 70 mph didn’t have a significant impact. The law took effect in January of 2014, but deaths were already on the rise. From a January 1, 2014 story…
As of New Year’s Eve , there were 973 crash fatalities in 2013 compared with 956 fatalities in 2012, a nearly 2 percent increase. That uptick adds to a 4 percent rise last year, when the death toll of 956 compared with 918 in 2011.
But deaths on Illinois roadways are still much lower than they have been historically, with 2013 the fifth consecutive year that fatalities were below 1,000, a dramatic low compared with the past nine decades.
Nationally, deaths didn’t really jump until 2015. More on that here.
Texting, low gas prices, etc. are likely factors. But a 20 percent drop in patrolling officers over 7 years can’t be ignored. Also, check out the reduction in tickets issued…