The Ohio State Highway Patrol in recent years has cited thousands of motorists for driving at least 100 mph, and more people in Warren County have been busted for this dangerous activity than in all but one other Ohio county.
Warren County also ranks near the top of the list of Ohio counties that have had the most motorists caught by troopers driving at least 20 mph over the speed limit and the most drivers cited for illegal street racing, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol data.
“Driving at speeds 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit is inherently dangerous for the violator themselves, but also those around them,” said Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Brice Nihiser. “Traveling at these speeds presents an unsafe environment for everyone on the road, and only makes a small difference in overall drive time.”
Since 2019, the Ohio State Highway Patrol has cited more than 11,600 motorists for driving 100 mph, which includes nearly 2,050 drivers who were speeding on roadways in the Miami Valley region, according to patrol data through late April of this year.
About 350 motorists in Butler County were cited for driving at triple-digit speeds (7th most of the state’s 88 counties), while 280 were ticketed in Montgomery County (11th most) and 236 were charged in Clark County (14th).
Troopers busted 214 motorists for driving at least 100 mph in Miami County (18th), 180 in Greene County (25th), 38 in Preble County and 4 in Champaign County.
But Warren County had more people pulled over for driving at these extreme speeds — 786 — than all but one of Ohio’s 87 other counties.
Only Erie County, located between Cleveland and Toledo, had more (884). Franklin County, home to Columbus, ranked third (492 motorists cited).
Also, nearly 12,770 drivers in Warren County have been stopped and ticketed by the state patrol for driving at least 20 mph over the posted speed limits, patrol data show.
Only Franklin County and Hamilton County (home to Cincinnati) had more lead-footed drivers going that fast busted by state troopers. The top speed limit in Ohio is 70 mph.
In addition, 35 motorists in Warren County have been cited by troopers for illegal street racing since 2019 — which is a higher tally than all but Pickaway County (48), located south of Columbus.
Many factors play a role in why some areas have more motorists traveling at excessive speeds, such as roadway design and the amount of traffic congestion, said state patrol Sgt. Nihiser.
Warren County is home to stretches of Interstates 75 and 71, as well as a variety of state routes.
The state patrol saw more motorists driving at excessive speeds during the pandemic because roadways were less congested, and excessive speeding violations continue to persist, he said.
Nihiser said the main risk of traveling at such high rates of speed is striking another vehicle that is traveling slower, like those going the posted limit or below.
“While advancements in technology have made vehicles safer, crashes with excessive speeds still present life-threatening consequences for everyone involved,” he said.
Speeding is a factor in at least one-quarter of all U.S. traffic fatalities, and research shows that higher driving speeds results in higher collision speeds, which are more likely to cause serious injuries.
Warren County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Barry Riley said the interstates that pass through the county are straight and wide with multiple lanes — a “perfect recipe” of conditions that appeal to extreme speeders.
“I appreciate state patrol’s efforts to curb speeds on those stretches of roadway,” Riley said.
The sheriff’s office patrols and enforces traffic laws on county roadways, Riley said, and speeding is a top complaint of residents who live in local subdivisions.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand there are speed limits for a reason,” he said.