Leading Cause of Officer Fatalities in 2017 are Traffic-Related

A new press release from the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) highlights a troubling rise in traffic-related deaths coming from a surprising occupation: police officers.

In their preliminary report, the NLEOMF collected data from law enforcement line-of-duty fatalities for the 2017 year so far, and unfortunately, there was a 30% increase in officer line-of-duty fatalities overall and 24% increase in officer deaths from traffic-related incidents specifically:

Officer Deaths 2017 Data

What is concerning is that traffic-related deaths have now become the leading cause of officer line-of-duty fatalities for 2017. NLEOMF reports that this has been a rising issue for decades and stated that “since the 1960s, traffic-related fatalities have increased, even as overall law enforcement fatalities have been decreasing.”

nleomf quote

Officers need to remember that the dangers of speeding also is a risk for them, but drivers have a responsibility to assist police and other emergency vehicles by clearing a path so they can travel to their destination quickly and safely.

Emergency vehicles are counting on drivers to yield properly when they are trying to get through traffic. And remember that if you see flashing lights on the side of the road, the law in all 50 states requires that you slow down and/or move over for official vehicles such as police, fire, ambulance, and tow, with 49 states including roadside assistance.

slow down move over

With so many of us on the roads each day, it is up to each of us to help create the safe environment that we want to be in. Traffic-related fatalities are continuing to rise with more and more drivers traveling on our roads every day. By giving our police and emergency workers room to do their jobs safely, we can all help save lives.

Optotraffic is committed to increasing safety on our roads and will continue to work with law enforcement to reduce traffic-related crashes by offering innovative traffic enforcement solutions for speed, red-light, slow down move over enforcement, parking and more.

If you are interested in starting an enforcement program in your community or would like more information on any of our traffic enforcement solutions, please contact us today.