Record Setting Safety In 2009

Macomb, IL – There were no fatalities on McDonough County roadways in 2009. It's the first time that's happened in 50 years, which is how long ago record-keeping on such matters began.

Illinois State Police District 14 troopers attribute the success to innovations in technology, safety, enforcement and education.

With that said, there were still 17 people killed in 15 crashes in District 14 across west central Illinois last year. State Police Lieutenant Harry Douglas says the ultimate goal is obviously to have no traffic fatalities anywhere, but that's no simple task.

"There are some things we can and cannot control, and obviously we can't be everywhere all the time," says Douglas. "Obviously we can't be everywhere all the time. There are some counties that just logistically have more population and more roads to cover. For this to happen in McDonough County is still a landmark."

The Illinois State Police and McDonough County Sheriff's Department spent about ten minutes recognizing organizations, companies, police, fire and public works departments that they say helped contribute to the absence of death on the roadways.

At the end of the press conference, officers joked there had been no traffic fatalities yet in 2010 and they're looking to continue the trend. But given the snow, ice, wind and bitter cold over the past couple of weeks, no traffic fatalities could be considered an accomplishment.

"We're going to be out with the motoring public educating; actively providing aggressive enforcement," says Douglas. "We'll continue our efforts through federal higher back money, and putting our personnel and man power in places where we need them the most."