ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – The price tag for traffic crashes and index crimes in Michigan in 2009 exceeded $6.7 billion. The figures compiled by the University of Michigan were released last week.

The study, funded by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP), used 2009 traffic crash and index crime data to estimate dollar losses from traffic crashes and index crimes to the state and for each county. Index crimes include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor
vehicle theft.

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Anne Readett of OHSP said the numbers are a little surprising.

“For 2009 we can look at the monetary costs of just traffic crashes in our state alone, $4.8 billion, and the cost of index crimes, $1.9 billion,” she said.

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The five counties with the highest crash and crime costs are Wayne, St. Clair, Oakland, Macomb and Kent. Ogemaw County has the lowest.

“Obviously, they’re both very costly to people in our state and like I said, they’re very legitimate areas for law enforcement to focus on,” Readett said.

The good news is that despite the high costs of both crime and crashes, there was a 19 percent decrease in monetary costs and a 27 percent decrease in comprehensive costs related to crashes between 2004 and 2009. Traffic fatalities fell 25 percent in that same time period, while injuries decreased by 29
percent.

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The report, which includes county-by-county information, is available at www.michigan.gov/ohsp.