Burke Co. Sheriff's Office hopes traffic grant will decrease ste - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Burke Co. Sheriff's Office hopes traffic grant will decrease steady rise in car fatalities


The Burke County Sheriff's Office is cracking down on speeding. Thanks to the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, it will be getting more resources. 
This is the 4th traffic safety grant awarded to the Sheriff's Office since the Sheriff Alfonzo Williams took over last year. 

"It's just really not worth it. Slow down, stop tailgating, put the phone down and for God sake's there's no excuse for driving drunk nowadays," says Chief Deputy Lewis Blanchard.

The Sheriff's Office says progress is being made patrolling the highways of Burke County, but still more needs to be done for the growing area. 

"We have 8500 people that come in and out daily to Plant Vogtle so we have a lot going on in this county in addition to the residents," says Chief Deputy Blanchard.

Data from the Sheriff's Office shows a sharp decrease in the number of crashes. There were 873 in 2015, 786 crashes in 2016, 484 last year and since May of this year 330. But there's been a rise in the number of crashes that involve people dying.

"All we can do is ask for voluntarily compliance when people are going to be driving at 85 or 90 mph and they have a single vehicle crash the chances of them living are very slim especially if they're unseat belted," says Chief Deputy Blanchard. 

3 people died in crashes in Burke County in 2015, 8 died in 2016, 12 in 2017, and since May of this year 6. The Grant of nearly $300,000 will go towards specific resources addressing those statistics.

"We'll have two officers with cars, equipment, salaries and everything for basically three years," says Chief Deputy Lewis Blanchard.

After those 3 years, the Sheriff's Office can apply for that grant again for another 3 years but Blanchard hopes by that time he hopes the numbers will show a decrease on all ends.

The Sheriff's Office received 3 grants totaling nearly $65,000.

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