Five States Take Part In High Speed Enforcement Campaign
Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, held a news conference at 10 a.m. on July 16, 2020, at MoDOT Headquarters, 600 NE Colbern Road, Lee’s Summit, MO, where he announced a high speed enforcement campaign. The Patrol is joining four other states in the high speed enforcement campaign between the hours of noon and midnight each day on July 17-18, 2020. Joining Missouri’s troopers in this campaign are troopers with the Iowa State Patrol, Arkansas State Police, Nebraska State Patrol, and Kansas Highway Patrol. All officers will be focused on enforcing traffic laws related to excessive speed, hazardous moving/aggressive driving, and distracted driving. Colonel Bill Bryant (AR), Colonel Nathan Fulk (IA), Colonel Herman Jones (KS), Colonel John Bolduc (NE), and NHTSA Region 7 Administrator Susan DeCourcy also spoke at the event.
COVID-19 has brought serious health and safety concerns to the nation and to Missouri. While the pandemic has continued to keep many people home and traveling less, Missouri is experiencing an increase in motorists who see more open roads as an opportunity to drive aggressively and at higher speeds.
This high speed enforcement campaign comes because of a drastic increase in egregious speed and hazardous moving violations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fatal crashes also have increased dramatically in Missouri, despite a period of significantly lower traffic volume. Col. Olson expressed concern that as the volume of traffic gradually increases with summer vacation trips and more people returning to work, high speeds on Missouri’s roadways will have disastrous consequences. Currently, Missouri is experiencing a 14 percent increase in traffic fatalities compared to last year.
Across the state, the Missouri State Highway Patrol has seen a 58 percent increase in speeds at or above 26 mph over the speed limit from January through June 2020 when compared to the four-year average. Troopers issued 4,869 summonses to drivers traveling 26 mph or more over the speed limit during that time. The data shows the most common violators are between the ages of 15 and 29. Most of the speed violations occur during the weekend.
Col. Olson reminded the public speed is one of the leading contributors to fatality traffic crashes. There is never a good reason for a motorist to exceed the speed limit and endanger others. Troopers are participating in this special enforcement campaign to remind motorists that virus or not, they remain vigilant and are enforcing the law.
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