AllIn SMALLLLLLLLLLDuring the month of July, the Benton Police Department working jointly with the Bryant Police Department, Saline County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas Highway Patrol and the Arkansas State Police to enhance public safety and reduce traffic accidents. During Operation Traffic Safety 101, the law enforcement agencies will be educating the public via media outlets and social media about basic traffic laws and safe driving tips.

“The purpose of this initiative is not to write traffic tickets,” said Benton Police Chief Kirk Lane. “We are asking motorists to comply with traffic laws in an effort to drastically reduce traffic accidents Saline County, for the safety of everyone.”

Traffic accidents increased on Benton roadways by 44 percent compared to 2015. Between January and May of 2015 there were 458 traffic accidents. Between January and May 2016, there have been 661 traffic accidents. Bryant officers have reported 527 traffic accidents this year, with 110 of those accidents caused by distracted driving. Saline County Sheriff Deputies have also been on the scene of 564 traffic accidents throughout the county this year.

Through Operation Traffic Safety 101, law enforcement officers will be cracking down on distracted driving, speeding, intoxicated driving, drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts, and other traffic violations. The agencies will also be participating in safe driving campaigns, including Click-It or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
The top 10 cause of death among people under the age of 54 is from motor vehicle crashes, and automotive fatalities also resulted in $44 billion in medical and work loss costs. The total cost of crash-related deaths in Arkansas averages $6 million in medical costs and $677 million in work loss costs.

In 2013, just less than 58,500 people were involved in vehicle crashes in Arkansas and 461 of those were fatalities. There were also 4,735 pedestrians killed by vehicles, and 150,000 pedestrians treated in emergency rooms from being struck by vehicle in 2013. One in every five children under the age of 14 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.

The ultimate goal of this initiative is not to write more citations. Operation Traffic Safety 101 is an effort to drastically reduce these statistics, not only throughout Saline County, but also throughout the state. We hope that by taking an enforcement and education approach we’ll be able to reduce traffic accidents and increase safety.

To report suspicious driving and/or accidents, call the Benton Police Department at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS. Individuals also may send us anonymous information to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text or go to to leave a tip. A crime tip can also be submitted via the official Benton Police Department app found on ITunes and Google Play.

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