OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Over the last few months, there have been several deaths on Sarpy County roads. Now, a task force is at work across the county to crack down on bad drivers, particularly on the busiest stretches.
Highway 370 is one of the busiest roads in Sarpy County. Tuesday, local police and Sarpy County Sheriff's deputies were patrolling there, cracking down on speeding and other dangerous driving habits.
Jeremy Nelson has been with Papillion Police for 12 years. His department along with the Sarpy County Sheriff's Office and La Vista and Bellevue police have begun working together to crack down on bad driving on Highway 370.
The agencies have formed the Sarpy County Traffic Safety Task Force. As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, 45 citations had been issued countywide, Bellevue Police Captain Tom Dargy said. In total, the task force conducted 71 traffic stops, including violations for speeding, traffic signal, lane, registration, and insurance violations.
"Sarpy County has been growing so fast these last few years, and one of the big issues is traffic complaints throughout the entire county," Dargy said.
But the task force isn't out here just to issue tickets. They want to make sure drivers get home safe, especially since it has been a deadly past few months in Sarpy County.
- May 25: Two people were hurt in an overnight crash on Highway 370 near 132nd Street.
- June 10: A gravel truck and a car crashed on Highway 370 west of 132nd Street one morning after the car reportedly crossed the median.
- June 25: A woman died after her vehicle was T-boned as she turned left at a stop sign at 84th Street and Platteview Road.
- June 27: Four Gretna teens were killed and another severely hurt in a crash on Platteview Road in Sarpy County.
- Aug. 7: Two Millard students, siblings ages 10 and 16, were killed in a crash at the intersection of 192nd Street and Highway 370.
"Our numbers are double what they were last year. The numbers are up for the entire state, it's not just isolated in Sarpy County," Dargy said.
So far this year, 21 people have died this year in Sarpy County crashes; that's 11 more than last year.
The task force is the most recent effort to make Sarpy County roads safer. In recent months, county authorities have taken other measures, including:
- Adding stop signs at 84th Street and Platteview Road.
- Adding temporary stoplights to a dangerous intersection near Springfield.
- Lowering speed limits on portions of Platteview Road.
It's not the first time authorities have cracked down on county trouble spots. In April 2018, Sarpy County Sheriff's deputies and Nebraska State Patrol cracked down on bad drivers in a special enforcement effort along Platteview Road.