LISBON — Chief David Brooks has reported that the Lisbon Police Department has experienced a nearly 40 percent increase in the number of traffic accidents on Route 196 since March.

Many drivers have also noted the increase in traffic congestion during the mornings and afternoons when people are driving to and from work, and an increase at other times and days, Brooks said.

The greatest increase in crashes, 86 percent, has been in the late afternoon and early evenings between 3 and 7 p.m. Also, crashes on Saturdays have increased.

There is no doubt, Brooks said, that traffic has increased on the road over the years. However, the Route 136 road collapsed in late August between Durham and Auburn and the subsequent road closing and detour to Route 196 in Lisbon likely has had a significant impact. The Maine Department of Transportation is expediting repairs on Route 136 but does not expect the road to reopen until the end of the year.

Consequently, Lisbon police are taking a proactive approach by parking cruisers on the sides of Route 196 during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m. so motorists will be more attentive to their driving.

Brooks asks that all motorists take extra caution and plan ahead to give themselves more time to reach their destinations, so speed doesn’t become a factor. This is particularly important as cooler weather approaches and road conditions can change quickly, he said.

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