The Need for Speed

marioWhen the justice levy failed a couple years back and most of the county sheriff’s office shut down, I remember thinking, “At least no one will be around to give me speeding tickets.”

Apparently a lot of people agreed.

Maybe we should have thought that one through a little more.

It turns out drivers in Josephine County aren’t as great on real roads as we are in Mario Kart, and unfortunately in real cars we don’t re-spawn when we crash.  The result is that our roads are twice as dangerous as those in other parts of Oregon.  The following graph shows how poorly we stack up with motor vehicle fatalities in Josephine County compared to the Oregon state average and even the broader US average.*

Motor Vehicle Fatalities 2012 2013
Josephine County 26 23
Oregon 14 12
US 12 10

odometerIt’s great to see that 2013 numbers across the board are a little better than in 2012, but in both years Josephine County proved to be significantly more dangerous to drive in than many other parts of the country.  It is important also to note that the state and federal averages are based on 100,000 people while Josephine County only holds 82,930.

So maybe having a few more Sheriff’s deputies out on the roads reminding us to slow down and drive safe might not be such a bad idea.

*Statistics based on data obtained from the County Health Rankings and the 2013 Community Health Assessment report for Jackson and Josephine Counties.

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