Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mass Troopers caused 500 crashes

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(WBZ) BOSTON The men and women who monitor the state's roadways, issuing hundreds of thousands of tickets to motorists annually, have caused nearly 500 crashes in their own cruisers in the past seven years, internal state police data show.

And despite their advanced roadway training, scores of troopers are repeat crashers demonstrating the same poor driving habits they are citing the ordinary motorist for - like inattention, speeding and following cars too closely, an I-Team analysis of over 2600 cruiser accidents shows.

Nearly 120 troopers have had four or more crashes in the past seven years, the data indicates.

"It's certainly a problem we need to address," said State Police Col. Mark F. Delaney of the I-Team's findings.

Delaney did not defend the number of crashes, but pointed out that state police log 54 million miles a year in hazardous weather and driving conditions.

But the agency's own data indicates the overwhelming majority of crashes occur on dry roadways with clear skies and while state police are either commuting from home, working a detail or on a regular police patrol. In only 16 percent of the accidents was a trooper in pursuit of a suspect or responding to an emergency, the data indicates.