Hall County crash numbers
• 2016: 32 fatalities, 7,189 total crashes, 1,579 injury crashes
• 2015: 35 fatalities, 7,543 total crashes, 1,701 injury crashes
Four rose-colored pushpins jut out from Sgt. Todd Casper’s map of Hall County in his office at the Sheriff’s Office headquarters. Representing traffic fatalities for 2017, the pushpins stand in a scattered plot of 32 yellow stickers marking 2016’s fatalities.
The 32 fatalities are three fewer than the 35 total deaths from 2015, Casper said.
“We actually went down in every single category,” Casper said. Those categories include total crashes, injury crashes, commercial-vehicle crashes, crashes with property damage, crashes on private property and work-zone crashes.
This bucked the state trend, as the number of fatalities was 1,529 last year compared to 1,432 deaths in 2015.
Hall County saw about 300 fewer crashes in 2016, a total of 7,189 wrecks. There were 1,701 crashes with injuries in 2015, which decreased to 1,579 in 2016.
Already this year on Jan. 1, two children were killed in a single-vehicle wreck on Ga. 60/Candler Road near Ga. 211.
In terms of enforcement, Casper said his team at the sheriff’s office is continuing its focus on Interstate 985, Ga. 365/Cornelia Highway and Friendship Road. the sheriff’s office has seen a high number of rear-end accidents particularly on Friendship Road near the interstate.
The main factor, Casper said, is distracted driving often blamed on texting.
“One guy was telling me he actually followed a young lady down Friendship Road, and she never took her phone down,” Casper said.
On Dec. 30, three members of the traffic division were patrolling for drivers under the influence. In a six-hour span, officers made eight arrests for DUIs.
When a case goes to court, the sheriff’s office now has equipment that can map down to a millimeter in a 1,000-foot wreck scene.
“Juries expect modern technology, and that’s exactly what this is,” Casper said.
Casper and his team trained on the devices Thursday, where computer equipment can plot points for a drawing to-scale.
“This system will actually map in 3-D, and you can go back and do the visual imaging with it actually putting cars in. It’s almost like watching a movie of the actual event.”