This week the Ithaca Police Department launched a speed enforcement blitz in the City of Ithaca as part of Speed Awareness Week, a statewide enforcement campaign organized by the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The intensified enforcement effort against speeding drivers underscores the severity of the problem, both locally and across the nation.
Speeding translates to death on our roadways. It greatly reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around another vehicle, a hazardous object, or an unexpected curve. Speeding drivers put themselves, their passengers and other drivers at tremendous risk.
In 2016, speeding was a contributing factor in 27 percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. More than 10,100 people were killed in such crashes, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA data shows that nearly one-third (31%) of New York’s 1,025 traffic fatalities in 2016 were caused by speeding. 314 people lost their lives in these preventable collisions. August was the deadliest month for speed-related fatalities in New York in 2016 with 39 people killed. During the Speed Awareness Week blitz, from August 1-7, officers will intensify enforcement of posted speed limits in Ithaca. Officers will stop and ticket anyone caught speeding—especially on roads where most of our speed-related crashes occur.
About 1/3 of all speed-related traffic fatalities in New York in 2016 occurred on local roads — where the posted speed limits were 55 miles per hour or under. According to NHTSA, a crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 mph or greater is more than twice as likely to result in a fatality than a crash on a road with a speed limit of 45 or 50 mph and nearly five times as likely as a crash on a road with a speed limit of 40 mph or below. About 15 percent of the country’s speeding-related fatalities occur on interstate highways each year.
A NHTSA research report, “Analysis of Speeding-Related Fatal Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes,” shows that a major proportion of fatal, speeding-related single-vehicle crashes occur on rural roadways. NHTSA considers a crash speeding-related if the driver was charged with exceeding the posted speed limit or if the driver was driving too fast for conditions at the time.
According to NHTSA, the economic cost to society from speed-related crashes is $52 billion annually. Our goal is to save lives, and we’re putting all drivers on alert – the posted speed limit IS THE LAW. No more warnings and no more excuses. When it comes to speeding: Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.