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La. fatal crashes down

VIDALIA — The Louisiana State Police continue to see the number of fatal crashes and the number of resulting deaths from those crashes decline, bringing encouragement to law enforcement all over the state.

According to the LSP, fatal crashes were down 5 percent to 405 from 428 and the number of deaths from those crashes was down 8 percent to 460 from 500 in 2009.

LSP State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edomonson said in a press release that while one death is too many, the continuing downward spiral of fatal accidents is good news for his officers.

“We will continue our proactive enforcement efforts and promote safety through education and public information,” he said. “Our established partnerships with law enforcement agencies across the state remain critical to our collective successes.”

In Concordia Parish there were seven fatal crashes resulting in eight deaths in 2010.

Concordia Parish Sheriff Randy Maxwell said one of the main goals of the CPSO is to cut down on the number of fatal crashes.

“The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office has patrol deputies around the parish 24-hours a day, seven days a week,” he said. “And we step up those patrols even further over major holidays in hopes of deterring accidents and fatalities.”

Maxwell said fatal crash scenes are always hard for officers to work.

“One of the most tragic things a deputy, or anyone in law enforcement or emergency services has to do is work the scene of a fatal accident, let alone notify family members of their loss,” he said.

Maxwell said holiday seasons always bring a higher accident rate, and officers work even harder to stop accidents during these times.

Along with added patrol units during major holidays, Maxwell said the CPSO offers a “Tipsy Taxi” service that allows residents to call the CPSO for a ride home if they have been drinking and do not have a driver.

Maxwell said along with the taxi service, the sheriff’s office constantly works to inform the public about safer driving practices.

“The sheriff’s office tries year-around to keep the public up-to-date on child restraint safety and laws, drinking and driving issues, the dangers of cell phones, texting while driving and many others,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell said that no matter what law enforcement does to enforce safer driving, it is up to the motorist to make a change.

“There are some conditions, particularly those that are weather-related, that drivers can’t control,” he said. “But, they absolutely can slow down, be more alert, get a designated driver, put their cell phones down and quit texting while driving. All those things add up to being much, much more safe on the roads.”