Traffic Deaths Way Up This Year in Knox County
For some reason, driving in Knox County is much more hazardous than usual this year - way more. The Illinois State Police report traffic fatalities have more than tripled compared to the same period a year ago.
During the first nine months of last year, just 3 people died in traffic crashes, while so far this year, 14 have died.
Trooper Jason Wilson says just three of the 14 have died on interstate highways in Knox County. The rest were killed on local and county roads - meaning they were mainly local drivers traveling on familiar roads.
Wilson says there's no one cause of this spike in fatalities - contributing factors include crossing the center line, and not slowing down in construction zones, plus the so-called "Fatal Four" violations - speeding, drunken driving, distracted driving, and failure to wear a seat belt. Traffic deaths in Knox County this year include all age groups and various times of day.
He says state police will work with the sheriff's department and local police to increase patrols, especially on local and county roads. And they may start stationing plain clothes officers in construction zones to spot violations.