The Shelby County Traffic Safety Partnership is joining law enforcement officers from six states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) on July 27 in this year’s NHTSA Region 5 high visibility Speed Awareness Day enforcement campaign.
This campaign is an effort to address the drastic increase in speed and hazardous moving violations that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. Speeding is involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities nationwide. NHTSA statistical projections for 2021 shows traffic deaths grew by 10.5% to 42,915. This also represents the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and the highest annual percentage increase in the recorded history of data in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
In 2020 there were 5,413 fatal injuries in the six-state region with 1,668 (30.8%) being speed related fatalities. Traffic crashes that result in death due to speeding are higher in the summer months. The highest fatalities occur between June to September.
Speeding is more than just breaking the law. The consequences are far-ranging:
- Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.
- Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment.
- Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger.
- Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries.
- Economic implications of a speed-related crash; and
- Increased fuel consumption/cost.
“One of the most concerning aspects of speeding is the increased stopping distance.” “A vehicle traveling at 30 mph will need about 110 feet to come to a complete stop.” “In comparison, a car moving at 60 mph will need over 300 feet to stop, this is almost the entire length of a football field!” said Sheriff Louie Koch.
According to the NHTSA, drivers who speed are also more likely to engage in other risky behaviors, such as not wearing a seat belt, drinking, and driving, or using a cell phone while driving.
The speed awareness campaign has a twofold approach: to combine increased, zero-tolerance enforcement with effective communication to road users on the importance of obeying the speed limit. High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) is a proven countermeasure for reinforcing driver compliance with posted speed limits.
The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness and save lives. There is no reason to speed, it is unnecessary and endangers everyone on the road. It may get you there a bit faster, but if you obey the speed limit signs, you will most likely arrive alive.