Safer Streets?

TRI-CITIES - Car accidents are one of the biggest cause of death in America. But it doesn't have to be that way--- especially if you know which intersections in town to avoid. KEPR took a look at all the hot-spots.

Of all people, Don Mertens knows the pain that danger on the road can bring.

"Losing a daughter in a traffic accident on a motorcycle was the hardest thing I ever went through," said Pasco driver Ron Merterns.
That was just a couple years ago in Arizona.

"And you never get over it," said Mertens.

In the Tri-Cities, a trailer randomly slammed into Mertens' car -- totaling the vehicle.

"So safety is very important," added Mertens.

It's why he's happy to know some streets are getting safer. Kennewick Police reported a nine-percent drop in collisions along Columbia Center Boulevard. It's known to be a trouble spot.

"Respect other people, drive the speed limit," urged Merterns.

In 2012, the city of Kennewick increased patrols along the busy stretch. Officers focused on speeding, cell phone and red light violations. We also checked the numbers for Richland and Pasco.

In Richland, Leslie and Gage remain a hot-spot -- reporting 15 crashes in 2012. Queensgate and I-82 come up second, followed by the intersection of George Washington Way and Jadwin. Both had 14 accidents last year.

Officials say these were caused by lane travel, failure to yield and failure to signal.

"People in the Tri-Cities need to be courteous and obey the traffic laws," said Mertens.

The city of Pasco plans to implement changes to safety on road 68.
The section from Argent road to Sandifur, and from Sandifur to Powerline Road was a cause for concern. They hope to see a reduction to accidents.

So do citizens like Mertens.

"Respect other people's lives," encouraged Mertens.

Keeping our roads running smoothly - all the while accommodating our growing community.

And in Pasco, we're told that DOT is studying the area of US-12 and Tank Farm Road -- to make safety improvements.
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