Speeding in Maryland, more road fatalities in 2020
Despite a lower volume of traffic and a decrease in crashes during the pandemic, speeding and other reckless driving behaviors have increased.
ROCKVILLE, Maryland – Law enforcement across the DMV is hopeful that as cities reopen and traffic resumes, drivers will slow down and reduce a worrying trend.
When the pandemic started in March 2020, the volume of traffic dropped significantly, but on the other hand, speeding tickets increased significantly.
DMV agencies, including the Maryland State Police, have created initiatives to help drivers slow down. Traffic policing detail continues to focus on the Capital Beltway and I-270 increasing police presence and enforcement.
“The highest car I stopped was 116 miles per hour,” MSP Private Lyle German told WUSA9 on a drive. “At the end of the day, no one drives to get hurt but when you talk about speeds at this pace, the little mistakes get bigger.”
Maryland highway officials said that despite the decrease in traffic in 2020, 569 people died in crashes statewide, a 6.4% increase from the previous year and the highest number high since 2008.
Law enforcement has issued more than 14,000 impaired driving tickets, but when it comes to speeding tickets, officers have issued 114,000 tickets, according to the MSP. Half of them had speeds 25 miles per hour above the posted limit.
Meanwhile, speeding citations from speed cameras increased 12% in 2020 compared to 2019 in clockwise and counterclockwise work areas. on I-495 at Suitland Parkway bridges, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic study. More than 105,000 trips were fined for speeding 12 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. In 2019, it was 94,308.
Safety officials wonder as traffic begins to increase what it means going forward since speed, drunk driving and even neighbors’ concerns about drag racing were already issues before the pandemic.
“We expect more traffic and urge people to slow down, leave early and allow more time for your trip,” said Lt. Upole of the Rockville Barracks.
Upole said that while accidents in his area last year were in fact down, the number of traffic stops had increased by around 3,000. On the contrary, he said there had been an increase. accidents involving commercial vehicles last year, a problem that appears to be more prevalent. Upole credits law enforcement efforts as the reasons why the number of commercial vehicle accidents has dropped from 34 around the same time last year to just four now in his region.
On Tuesday, Virginia State Police said a driver who squeezed through traffic as he accelerated on I-95 in Prince William County pulled off the road, hit a railing and walked off the road. crashed into a semi-trailer. The vehicles caught fire. The driver of the truck was not injured, but the other driver is in a DC burn center and is fatally injured.
RELATED: Driver Seriously Injured After Semitrailer Catches Fire and Crashes Into I-95 near Woodbridge
Upole said the number of commercial vehicle accidents in his region has dropped from 34 around the same time last year to just four now.
In June in Virginia, the pandemic contributed to a 45% decrease in all crashes, but the number of deaths involving both fast and unsuccessful travelers rose 78% from the same period in 2019.
RELATED: Virginia Sees Increase in Beltless, Speed-Related Crashes During COVID-19 Pandemic
In 2020, there were more than 17,100 accidents in Prince George County and more than 9,700 accidents in Montgomery, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.
RELATED: Speeding, Red Light Cameras Double in Montgomery County
RELATED: Montgomery County Officers Decrease Traffic Stops Despite Increase in Reckless Driving
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