CINCINNATI — Drivers will see more police cruisers on the road as law enforcement officers across the Tri-State participate in Speed Awareness Day enforcement campaigns this week.
According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Speed Awareness Day is joint effort between departments in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Region Five, which includes departments in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. The region had 5,413 fatal crashes in 2021 — more than 30% of those crashes were related to speeding.
“There is no question that high speeds are dangerous, and we must continue to reinforce the importance of following the speed limit,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in the release. “During this enforcement event, law enforcement throughout Ohio will be keeping a close watch on speeds in an effort to prevent crashes and save lives.”
Across the country, speeding continues to be one of the leading contributory causes of all types of crashes. NHTSA Region 5 member states are partnering on July 27, 2022 to raise awareness and proactively enforce speeding laws to reduce crashes, save lives, and prevent injuries. pic.twitter.com/69RKZvVexr— Ohio State Highway Patrol (@OSHP) July 25, 2022
Officers will use increased and zero-tolerance enforcement to emphasize the importance of obeying the speed limit.
The Ohio Traffic Safety Office said it expected speeding to go down after it spiked during the pandemic, but officials have seen the opposite.
“Speeding is totally unsafe,” said Judy Converse, Public Information Officer with the Ohio Traffic Safety Office. “It gives you less time to react to objects on the road, sharp turns, other drivers. It extends your stopping time. It’s harder for other vehicles or pedestrians, cyclists to really judge your distance. In our eyes, there's no acceptable level of speeding, even going just a little over the speed limit makes you less safe.”
In Ohio, 11% of crashes in 2021 were speed-related. Around 32% of those crashes happened between June and September. The Buckeye State ranked second in the region in speed-related crashes that resulted in fatalities — 360 deaths to be exact.
Police agencies in Kentucky are participating in their own speed awareness campaign through July 31. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Office of Highway Safety reports 24% of crashes in the commonwealth involve speeding or aggressive driving.
"We frequently hear from officers and troopers that they would rather write a ticket than make a death notification," KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said in a release. "Obeying the speed limit not only can save your life, it can also save you from an unnecessary financial expense."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said fatal crashes increased by 10.5% in 2021 to nearly 43,000. That is the highest number of fatalities since 2005, NHTSA said.
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