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Police Chief's Monthly Message for April 2016

In last month’s article, we discussed some of the department’s yearly goals specific to the prevention of motor vehicle crashes. In order to further this objective, the department continues to review traffic data and traffic related incidents. In this month’s article, please allow me to share with you some of our most recent findings which were conducted in conjunction with the police department and Groton-Dunstable High School Intern Steven Tully.

Most recently, Steven Tully conducted a brief, non-scientific two hour traffic survey at the intersection of Groton Street and Pleasant Street from the hours of 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. His assignment was to determine the following variables: the number of motorists approaching the intersection, the number of stop sign violations and the number of near accidents. Please understand that although the data below may not be scientific, it remains important because it may support further traffic study and consideration.

The following results were produced. Mr. Tully reported that one hundred seventy three(173) motorists entered this intersection during the two hour period from 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. Ninety nine(99) out of one hundred seventy three(173) motorists completed a complete stop(57.2%). The number of motorists that did not come to a complete stop by “rolling through the stop sign” or by blatantly disregarding the stop sign was sixty nine(69) out of 173 cars(39.9%). The incidents of “ near crashes was five(5) out of one hundred seventy three (173)approaches to the stop sign, thus resulting in a rough probability of a near accident being 2.9%.  

How should we interpret this brief data analysis?  The obvious answer is that motorists can continue to improve safe driving behavior by completing a more complete stop at stop signs, thus lowering the risk of crash and criminal/civil penalties. In order to further our traffic safety goals, we will be increasing our monitoring at this intersection while enhancing our general traffic enforcement program. Although this intersection is not an area of high incidents of motor vehicle crashes, we ask that all motorist use care when approaching this intersection, as well as all other intersections. In our next study, we will be gathering information from the intersection of Main Street and Lowell. This intersection is controlled by a stop sign and receives a high volume of traffic during evening commute hours.

Until next time, we wish all well, and we kindly encourage you to help us keep our roadways safe.


James G. Downes III
Chief of Police

Emergency: 9-1-1, Business: 978 649 7445 (Groton-Dunstable 9-1-1 Cable Program)


Town of Dunstable, 511 Main Street, Dunstable MA 01827 (978) 649-4514
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