New York and Other States Continue to See Rise in Speeding
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With many offices going back to in-person operations these days, the number of cars on the road is picking up. Unfortunately, something that’s not picking up along with it is highway safety.
In fact, there was a huge increase in speeding during the winter and spring of 2020, as lockdowns left roads largely empty and apparently enticing to those feeling the need for speed.
With the roads filling back up, however, many are calling for increased enforcement of speed limits. It seems that many people aren’t too concerned with getting speeding tickets and instead are sticking to the bad driving habits that they developed during the pandemic.
Fatalities related to speeding during the pandemic
Newsweek recently reported that deaths on highways during the pandemic increased to rates not seen in a decade. This may seem surprising, given that far fewer people were on the roads during that time. Nevertheless, there are a few possible explanations for the increase.
Officials view an increase in speeding as the most likely factor contributing to the number of deaths on the road during the first months of the pandemic.
Other possible causes, they speculate, include an increase in the number of people driving under the influence and a decrease in the number of drivers wearing seatbelts. It seems that the stresses of the pandemic were manifesting themselves in multiple ways on the road.
Really, the numbers tell it all when it comes to the relationship between highway deaths and the months of lockdown. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has reported that traffic fatalities grew by 7 percent by the end of 2020, even as overall driving fell by 13 percent.
Speeding was a known problem in places like California and New York
Some of the most populated states in the country have seen some of the worst instances of speeding, and they’re grappling with how to deal with the problem.
Regarding his state’s struggles with speeders, for example, New York State Police spokesman Beau Duffy recently told the Associated Press, “There is continued concern about the rise in speeding and aggressive driving as we enter the heart of the vacation travel season and increased traffic volumes on the highways.”
In New York, in fact, in the first six months of 2020, police issued speeding tickets and reported fatalities attributed to speeding at levels well above pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, in California, those same six months saw officers issuing double the number of tickets for speeds over 100 mph that they issued during the same period in 2019.
Many believe more high-visibility enforcement of speeding is needed
It’s also the case that during the pandemic, police were somewhat less likely than normal to be out enforcing speed limits. Some people think this was another possible cause of the increase in speeding.
To be sure, many are hoping that police will soon be more out and about, visibly enforcing the law. As Pam Shadel Fischer of the Governors Highway Safety Association told the Associated Press, “High visibility enforcement works. When people see police officers, they will think twice about what they’re doing.”
It’s important to keep in mind that even if you don’t face the worst possible consequences of speeding, such as causing a fatality or becoming one yourself, if you get caught ignoring the limit, your car insurance rates will almost definitely go up.
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