Tags: Coronavirus | Law Enforcement | speeding | police | drivers | tickets | lockdowns

Police: Massive Uptick in Drivers Speeding Amid Lockdowns

light traffic is seen on the route 118 ronald reagan freeway in california
Light traffic is seen on the Route 118 Ronald Reagan Freeway in California because of stay-at-home orders. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 23 April 2020 01:33 PM

Drivers finding themselves on long stretches of open road seem to have a need for speed.

Police departments across the country are reporting an uptick in issuing speeding tickets during a time when most people aren't getting behind the wheel.

On Wednesday, California Highway Patrol said there has been an 87% increase in citations for speeding in excess of 100 mph, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Since California began its stay-at-home order on March 19, the Highway Patrol has issued 2,493 tickets to drivers speeding more than 100 mph. Officers wrote 1,335 tickets for that offense during the same period last year, the newspaper reports.

The increase of speeding tickets is happening in other states, too.

Colorado State Patrol told Westword that drivers are taking advantage of the open roads by speeding excessively.

"The short version is: Yes, we have seen too many drivers that feel a more open road is an invitation to violate speed and other laws," Colorado State Patrol trooper Josh Lewis told Westword. "But despite the stay-at-home order and other aspects that have resulted in less vehicles on the roadways, CSP has issued more citations for 20+ mph over the speed limit, and 40+ mph over the speed limit, than we did for the same time period last year (Jan-Feb-March)."

Over a two-week period in mid-March in New York City, traffic dropped 71% and speed cameras caught 12% more infractions, according to The New York Times.

The average speed on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway has jumped from 13 mph to 52.

Similar increases in drivers speeding is taking place in Portland, Oregon. The New York Times reports the typical number of people each month caught driving more than 30 mph over the limit has gone from single digits in February to around 30.

A traffic supervisor for the Portland Police Department told the newspaper some drivers he pulls over say they are distracted by the coronavirus outbreak and economic conditions. Others offer no excuse.

"The other day, I stopped a guy going 92 in a 50," Sergeant Bret Barnum told the Times. "He's like, 'You know, it’s a new car to me, the road was open, and I just wanted to try it out.'"

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Police departments across the country are reporting an uptick in issuing speeding tickets during a time when most people aren't getting behind the wheel.
speeding, police, drivers, tickets, lockdowns
368
2020-33-23
Thursday, 23 April 2020 01:33 PM
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