(CENTREVILLE) - Since the COVID-19 pandemic began over two years ago, law enforcement agencies in Michigan have reported an alarming rise in speeding and fatal crashes.
In an effort to address this dangerous trend, St. Joseph County Sheriff Mark Lillywhite says his department will be conducting overtime speed enforcement from now until February 28, 2023.
Additionally, dozens of municipal and county law enforcement agencies across Michigan, along with the Michigan State Police will also be participating in the enforcement program.
Lillywhite is asking drivers to slow down and obey the posted speed limit.
In 2021, there were 237 speed-related fatalities on Michigan roadways, which is an increase of 18.5 percent over 2020, when 200 people died. Nationally, in 2020, 11,258 traffic fatalities involved crashes in which one or more drivers were speeding. That’s an 18 percent increase over the 9,478 accidents in 2019.
In Michigan, the number of traffic crashes rose from 245,432 in 2020 to 282,640 in 2021, an increase of 15 percent. There was also a rise in fatalities, from 1,131 in 2021 compared to 1,083 in 2020.
Also in Michigan, according to speed-involved data from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, in 2021: 13.3 percent of unrestrained drivers involved in crashes were speeding; 10.2 percent of drivers in the 15 to 20 year-old age group involved in crashes were speeding. This is higher than the overall speeding-driver rate of 5.2 percent in 2021. There were 24,555 speed-related crashes, which is a I0.3 percent increase from the 22,260 speed-related crashes in 2020.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
local roads are more dangerous than highways for speeders. In 2020, 87 percent of all speeding-related traffic fatalities occurred on non-interstate roadways.