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Tags: highways | speeding | fatalities | driving | death

Empty Highways Make for Faster, More Reckless Drivers

a single vehicle is seen on an interstate in seattle
A vehicle drives along an empty Interstate 5 highway during the coronavirus crisis in Seattle. (Toby Scott Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Monday, 11 May 2020 03:55 PM EDT

Empty highways might seem more safe, but it's having the effect of encouraging speeders and reckless drivers, creating a disproportionate number of crashes and fatalities, according law enforcement and traffic experts.

"We're getting reports every week of dozens of drivers being cited for traveling over 100 miles an hour," Minnesota's Office of Traffic Safety Director Michael Hanson told Stars and Stripes. "That's just insanity for our roadways."

Minnesota has seen a year-over-year increase from 29 fatalities to 42 in the first 45 days of Minnesota's state-at-home orders that began March 16, according to Hanson.

"We have had half the traffic and twice as many fatalities," Hanson added to Stars and Stripes. "We have more available lane space for drivers to use and abuse . . . and people are really, really abusing."

State troopers in Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia, and California have clocked drivers topping even 130 mph, per the report.

"The trend is very concerning," Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety President Catherine Chase told Stars and Stripes. "At a time of national crisis, drivers should not be turning our roadways into racetracks."

Nationwide traffic is down 41%, according to transportation-data firm Inrix data, including 50% in Los Angeles, 60% in New York City, and 68% in Washington.

"With less cars on the road, we would expect that crashes and citations would be down. And what we're seeing is an increase in dangerous speeding and dangerous driving," Washington Department of Transportation Director Jeff Marootian told Stars and Stripes.

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
Empty highways might seem more safe, but it's having the effect of encouraging speeders and reckless drivers, creating a disproportionate number of crashes and fatalities, according law enforcement and traffic experts.
highways, speeding, fatalities, driving, death
249
2020-55-11
Monday, 11 May 2020 03:55 PM
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