(I’m re-publishing this blog because new figures from the state show that deer/car accidents are down this year compared to last. When I first published the blog, I found that the crashes were seriously under-reported to the state. Here’s an explanation of why there’s a discrepancy between actual accidents and reported accidents. )
Nobody’s asleep on the job.
Nobody’s doing anything dishonest.
Here are the facts: To date, the Mentor Police Department has 21 deer/car accidents to report to the state. This figure eventually goes to the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency. NOACA released figures last October showing that Mentor had more car/animal crashes in Mentor than any other local community from 2007-2009: 245.
Here’s another fact: In addition to the 21 crashes officially reported for 2011, there were an additional 10 deer/car crashes in which drivers elected not to file a police report. Had they filed, their insurance companies would have been notified. And the accidents would have gone on the drivers’ records.
The bottom line just grew by 50%. There have been 31 deer/car accidents in Mentor so far this year, not 21. But the figure that will go into state stats is 21.
So if the 2011 discrepancy is representative, NOACA’s figure for Mentor car/animal crashes from 2007-2009 should be +122, or 367 rather than 245.
I’d been puzzled for several months about part of a January 12, 2011, article in the Chagrin Solon Sun: “That year, police recorded only 38 deer-vehicle collisions, while Animal Warden Greg Miller registered 45.”
Why the discrepancy? I finally asked Greg Miller yesterday afternoon. He explained that some drivers choose not to file a report because of insurance regulations.
I hung up and went straight to our Mentor Police Department and asked for the figures on reported and non-reported crashes for 2011. Office Assistant II Diana Lombardo-Bruening and Record Room Division Supervisor James Sessain compiled the information I quoted above . . . and sent it to me before 4 PM!
If you’d like to see their data, I’ll forward it to you.
My thanks to Lombardo-Bruening and Sessain. Their cooperation made this blog possible. They’re two more reasons why It’s Better in Mentor.