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Fri, April 26

Caution! Danger ahead
Accidents common at intersection of Stockton Hill Road/Airway

The intersection of Airway Avenue and Stockton Hill Road, pictured Tuesday, was the scene of 59 traffic accidents in 2006. JC AMBERLYN/Miner

The intersection of Airway Avenue and Stockton Hill Road, pictured Tuesday, was the scene of 59 traffic accidents in 2006. JC AMBERLYN/Miner

KINGMAN - For the third year in a row, the intersection of Stockton Hill Road and Airway Avenue had the most traffic accidents.

There were 59 accidents at the intersection in 2006 reported by the Kingman Police Department, more than twice the 25 accidents reported in 2005.

The intersection of Stockton Hill Road and Sycamore Avenue had the second most traffic accidents for the second year in a row. The 39 accidents in 2006 were more than a 50-percent increase from the 23 accidents in 2005.

Of the 1,376 total traffic accidents in Kingman in 2006, 208 of them were injury accidents with three resulting in fatalities. The 2006 total is a slight decrease from the 1,389 in 2005, but last year saw one more fatal accident than in 2005.

According to the 2006 annual report from the KPD, staffing shortages toward the end of the year led to the lack of officers dedicated to the traffic unit. KPD officers worked with the Arizona Department of Public Safety to conduct several zero-tolerance traffic enforcement details to help address the traffic concerns.

"That was very effective," KPD Sgt. Lyman Watson said about the collaboration. "Right after saturation patrols, traffic accidents went down."

The program will continue through 2007 until the KPD is able to staff the traffic unit again. The goal is to have the unit staffed by the end of the first quarter of this year.

The lack of staffing may have led to a substantial drop in traffic citations from 2,325 in 2005 to 1,238 in 2006. Close to 2,000 less warnings were issued last year than the 6,129 in 2005.

Even without the staffing, KPD has set up short- and long-term goals for its traffic unit. As a short-term goal, they want to reduce the overall traffic crash rate for Kingman by 5 percent. There were a total of 182 traffic accidents on Stockton Hill Road between Andy Devine and Airway avenues in 2006, with 161 of them between the one-mile stretch between Airway and Detroit avenues. "Ninety percent are just because that is the highest traffic set in the city," Watson said.

As a long-term goal, KPD is hoping for the same reduction on Beale Street from I-40 to Coyote Pass and Andy Devine Avenue from I-40 to Airway Avenue.

KPD will continue its systematic approach to apprehend and convict drunken drivers. 2006 saw a drop in driving under the influence arrests from 116 in 2005 to 68 last year.

KPD also plans to continue its community-policing programs, educating and informing the public of traffic safety issues and trends.


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