Despite there being fewer vehicles on the road due to COVID-19, the North Dakota Highway Patrol (NDHP) has seen an increase in speeding citations issued for drivers exceeding the speed limit by over 10 mph. From March 15 to April 15, 2020, citations issued for speeds in excess of 10 mph have increased by 38% when compared to a 3-year average (2016-2018) of the citations issued during the same time period.
In 2019, 24% of crash fatalities in North Dakota were speed related. Speeding reduces a drivers ability to negotiate curves or maneuver around obstacles in the roadway, extends the distance traveled before a vehicle can stop, and increases the risk of crashes because other vehicles and pedestrians may not be able to judge distance accurately.
“Law enforcement is still on patrol making sure all traffic laws are being followed,” said Sgt. Wade Kadrmas of the NDHP. “Just because there are fewer people traveling right now does not mean drivers can disobey the law. Drivers should always follow posted speed limits, wear a seat belt, use appropriate child passenger safety seats, and drive sober and distraction-free.”
It is vital that all users take personal responsibility when traveling in order to achieve the goal of Vision Zero, zero fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roads.