FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 17, 2021
Contact: Ryan Bridges, firstname.lastname@example.org, 269-762-2922
KDPS stepping up speed enforcement during regional traffic safety campaign June 19-27 Regional campaign designed to reduce troubling increase in speed-related crashes
Kalamazoo, Mich. — Since the COVID-19 pandemic began more than a year ago, law enforcement agencies across the nation have reported an alarming rise in speeding, crashes, and related complaints.
To combat this disturbing and dangerous trend, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Region 5 Office are partnering with five other states on a regional traffic safety campaign. As part of the “Great Lakes, High Stakes” campaign, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety along with more than 30 municipal, county and Michigan State Police (MSP), law enforcement agencies will focus on speeding drivers between June 19 and 27, 2021.
Nationally in 2019, 9,478 traffic fatalities involved crashes in which one or more drivers were speeding.
“While the pandemic caused a drop in overall traffic miles driven, nationally, the number of fatal crashes increased — and data shows speeding was a major factor in many of these tragic crashes,” said Chief Vernon Coakley of KDPS. “During the “Great Lakes, High Stakes” campaign, we will be working with our fellow law enforcement agencies across the state to ensure the message gets out to drivers that speeding will not be tolerated on our roadways.”
While Michigan has seen a 22-percent reduction in traffic crashes — 245,432 in 2020 compared to 314,377 in 2019 — there has been an increase in fatalities. Crash data from the MSP Criminal Justice Information Center indicates 1,083 people died from crashes on Michigan roads in 2020, a 10-percent increase over 2019, with 985 deaths reported. In 2020, there were 200 speed-related fatalities on Michigan roadways compared to 185 in 2019, an 8-percent increase.
Also in Michigan, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), in 2020:
■ Out of male drivers involved in all traffic crashes in 2020, 6.4 percent were speeding.
■ 15.2 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding.
■ 11.2 percent of drivers in the 15- to 20-year-old age group involved in crashes (4,650 out of 41,685) were speeding.
■ Out of all drivers who were drinking and crashed, 15.1 percent were speeding.
Recent insurance industry studies show that about 112,000 speeding tickets are issued each day, or about 41 million per year. The average fine for a speeding violation is between $115-$135.