By Mason W. Canales
The Cove Herald
The number of traffic accidents and driver citations dropped last year in Copperas Cove.
"Most of these accidents are caused by a lack of driver attention," said Sgt. Kevin Keller, spokesman for the Copperas Cove Police Department, about the number of crashes police responded to in 2011.
The number of accidents last year dropped about 5 percent compared with 2010, according to the city's annual police department report.
Keller doesn't know how many accidents caused major or minor injuries, but he said serious injury collisions "were few and far between" with fender-benders being the most common type of traffic accident.
Keller said the number of accidents in the report didn't include every wreck authorities responded to.
Only the accidents that generated police reports were counted. Officers respond to many accidents that don't generate reports because no citations are given, said Keller. If those incidents were factored into the annual report, the number would double.
Traffic accidents were broken down by the day of the week in the annual report. Keller said the daily numbers help determine how many officers are required to assist with traffic accidents on certain days of the week.
The statistics dispel the myth that Sunday drivers are the worst motorists. In 2010 and 2011, fewer than 85 accidents occurred on Sundays.
Police recorded 172 accidents on Fridays last year - down by three from 2010.
In 2011, the second-busiest day for accidents was Wednesday with 138 wrecks, which was up from 130.
Keller said Fridays are typically the busiest day for accidents because people head in and out of town for weekend activities and work.
During 2011, the most traffic citations police issued to drivers was for speeding, according to the report. The number of speeding citations was down 15 percent from 2010. Officers also issued a large number of citations for the following: failure to maintain financial responsibility, expired motor vehicle inspection sticker and expired registration.
Decreasing numbers are good news for the department and for residents, said Keller. "Ultimately, we would like the number of accidents to continue to go down, and we are not just about writing tickets," said Keller. "We would love to write less and just make sure the laws are being abided by."
Accidents by day of the week
DAY 2010 2011
Sunday 82 84
Monday 143 106
Tuesday 136 115
Wednesday 130 138
Thursday 125 122
Friday 175 172
Saturday 106 111
TOTAL 897 848
Traffic citations in 2011
Ran stop sign 479
Ran red light 126
No driver's license 231
Driving while license invalid 157
Expired operator's license 113
Fail to display license 315
Fail to control speed 160
Expired registration 705
Motor vehicle inspection sicker expired 1,078
Backed out without safety 32
Passing authorized emergency vehicle 36
Fail to yield right of way 110
Fail to report change of address 81
Disregard traffic control device 60
No seatbelt - driver 320
Fail to maintain financial responsibility 1,749
No proof of financial responsibility 91
Unsafe lane change 23
Used wireless device in school zone 29
Other traffic citations 492
TOTAL TRAFFIC CITATIONS 8,617
Source: Copperas Cove Police Department