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More fatal accidents, speeding have MSP increasing patrols

Michigan State Police is hoping to combat the rise in fatal traffic accidents by increasing...
Michigan State Police is hoping to combat the rise in fatal traffic accidents by increasing patrols.(WLUC)
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 12:10 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Is that a cop? For the next three months, that piece of brush you see next to the “authorized vehicles only” sign might be a patrol car.

For more than a year, law enforcement agencies across the nation have reported an alarming rise in speeding and fatal crashes despite a decrease in the number of road miles traveled.

Michigan State Police is hoping to combat the rise in fatal traffic accidents by increasing patrols. According to MSP, Michigan has seen a 22% reduction in traffic crashes. However, even though there were fewer accidents last year, more of them were fatal.

In 2020, deadly driving crashes rose by 10% in Michigan, despite a dramatic decrease in traffic. One of the main factors? Speeding. While speeding may seem harmless on the surface, it can be more dangerous than you think. Last year, MSP reported an 8% increase in speed-related fatalities on Michigan roadways from 2019.

To combat this deadly and dangerous trend, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) is announcing that more than 100 municipal, county, and MSP law enforcement agencies will focus on speeding drivers between December 1, 2021, and February 28, 2022.

“Despite the fact there have been less miles traveled, the fatality rate rose. And crash data shows that speed may have been a factor in many of these preventable crashes,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “It’s no secret the faster you drive, the greater your risk of dying in a crash. We hope increased enforcement over the coming months will help change these dangerous driving behaviors and save lives.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 mph or greater is more than twice as likely to result in a fatality than a crash on a road with a speed limit of 45 or 50 mph. Nationally in 2019, 9,478 traffic fatalities involved crashes in which one or more drivers were speeding.

According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, in Michigan during 2020:

  • Of male drivers involved in all traffic crashes, 6.4 percent were speeding.
  • 15.2 percent of motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes were speeding.
  • 11.2 percent of drivers aged 15 to 20 involved in crashes (4,650 out of 41,685) were speeding.
  • Out of all drivers who were drinking in crashes, 15.1 percent were speeding.

Recent insurance industry studies show that approximately 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.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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