Snyder Says Road Proposal Could 'Save 100 Lives a Year' - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Snyder Says Road Proposal Could 'Save 100 Lives a Year'


GENOA TWP, Mich. (WLNS) -- In his State of the State speech Wednesday night, the governor said Michigan is short about $1.2 million a year to fix the state's roads. He also implied that fixing them is a matter of life and death.

"We would save 100 lives a year, each year," said Snyder.

6 News spoke to him at the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon to clarify.

WLNS Reporter: "So you're saying 100 people die a year because of our roads?"

Governor: "No, actually we lose a lot more people on our roads, but the calculation is basically nearly 100 lives could be saved if we put this additional billion dollars in our roads in terms of making them safer with better conditions."

However, that statistic came from an organization that's backed by businesses that support road jobs. Some of its supporters include insurance companies and businesses involved in highway and transit engineering and construction. It's called The Road Information Program or TRIP for short.

The company's director of policy and research Frank Moretti told us the numbers were crunched in a March 2012 report and that their findings are credible.

"What they look at is overall traffic fatality rates that to some extent reflect the traffic on those routes, the speed people are traveling and also the level of safety features that are there," said Moretti.

Even though Governor Snyder said this during his SOS speech, "We would save 100 lives a year, 100 lives a year each year. There's no price you can put on that," he's still asking for a price.

Governor Snyder has proposed a "user fee" that will total on average $120 per car per year. That price could fluctuate depending on the car's value and how often the driver uses the car.

It's a cost that doesn't sit well with some drivers who think they already pay enough.

"A lot of people are hurting, the economy's down. It doesn't seem like he's sensitive to what this means for the average person," said John Hudson.

Joseph Smyers had a different perspective. "Well, seems like it'd be good for the economy because you take that money to the roads and people (will) go to work Construction workers and it will just go from there," said Smyers. "You're just helping the economy out a bit and $120-something dollars per year ain't bad. That's a small price to pay to fix these roads."

The governor says poor roads can take a beating on cars and cause an average of $357 in repairs each year.

He believes the ultimate result of the road repair package will save the state money down the road.

He says if we continue to delay, the road repair costs could increase to $25 billion in 10 years.

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