As the city of Marshall opens up to a healthy way of life, the Marshall Police Department has observed a spike in traffic accidents.

“In recent weeks, Marshall streets have been quiet as workers and students were home in a safeguard to the coronavirus,” stated Marshall Police Chief Cliff Carruth. “From March 29 to April 4, there were only six traffic accidents reported to our department. COVID-19 sparked a significant reduction in personal automobile transportation and traffic accidents due to the lockdown orders by governors and mayors across the United States.”

Since that date, the state has implemented Phase I openings of retail services, dine in restaurants, shopping malls, and salons, barbers, nail salons, tanning salons, and religious services. Phase II opening began on May 18, 2020, and will continue until June 15.

“Our analysis showed that each opening had presented a significant rise in accidents within the city. Within one month, our weekly accidents rose from 6 initially to a new weekly total of 23 accidents with one fatality. During the COVID-19 lockdown, there was a reduction in people on the roadway and fewer accidents. As we re-open our communities, many drivers are becoming more reckless and often speeding on our roadways,” Carruth said.

Speed and reckless driving are the most significant contributors to traffic accidents, injuries, and the potential for fatalities.

The Marshall Police Department’s patrol officers will expand patrol routes and enforcement of all traffic violations.