Lead-footed drivers in Michigan, beware: Law enforcement is coming for you.
Michigan police agencies are cracking down on speeders statewide for the next three months to cut down on the number of crashes, deaths, and injuries, according to the state Office of Highway Safety Planning.
According to the news release issued Thursday, the number of fatalities has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan State Police agencies will now work overtime conducting speed enforcement from Dec. 1 through Feb. 28.
In 2021, the agency said, 237 died in speed-related crashes on Michigan roads — an 18.5% increase from 2020 when 200 people died.
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Katie Bower, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, said in the news release that the goal of increased enforcement is to change these risky driving behaviors and save lives.
“Speeding continues to be a critical issue in Michigan that leads to many needless crashes, serious injuries, and fatalities on our roadways,” Bower said. “With the arrival of winter comes snow, slush, and slick road conditions that make speeding even more dangerous and crashes more likely.”
For Michigan, in 2020 the number of traffic crashes was 245,432. By 2021, that number rose to 282,640, a 15% increase. Michigan also experienced a rise in traffic fatalities in 2021, there were 1,131 deaths and in 2020 there were 1,083.
The release also featured speed-involved data from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute in 2021 about Michigan drivers:
- Speeding was the reason for 13.3% of unrestrained drivers being involved in crashes.
- 10.2% of drivers in the 15-to-20-year-old age group involved in crashes were speeding, which is higher than the overall speeding-driver rate of 5.2% in 2021.
- In 2021, there were 24,555 speed-related crashes, a 10.3% increase. In 2020, there were 22,260 crashes.
And local roads are more dangerous than highways, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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In 2020, 87% of speed-related traffic fatalities happened on non-interstate roadways. Insurance industry studies show that approximately 112,000 speeding tickets are issued every day or 41 million per year, according to the news release.