Motorists who are pushing the pedal to the medal are being asked to ease off as law enforcement is seeing an alarming increase in speeding violations and accidents over the last several months.
“It’s clear that there have been immediate changes in driver behavior with more drivers speeding, some at excessive and extremely dangerous speeds," said California Office of Traffic Safety Director Barbara Rooney. "This trend is alarming. We should be focused on protecting lives and the simple action of following speed limits helps keep ourselves and others safe.”
Between Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, the California Highway Patrol issued 4,851 citations for speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour, a 93% increase when compared to the same period last year. In federal fiscal year 2017-18, speed was a factor in approximately 31% of all fatal and injury crashes in California.
The OTS is rolled out a multi-platform campaign Tuesday that will continue through Sunday. The “Slow the Fast Down” campaign will feature a series of safety messages on digital platforms, including social media, streaming and gaming services, and outdoor billboards.
“Speeding is a choice," Rooney said. "We hope to shift social norms for speeding and encourage people to slow down on the road.”
In addition to the campaign, the CHP will be conducting a maximum enforcement period from Wednesday through Sunday, and will be actively looking for unsafe driving practices as well as helping motorists in need.
“This year has presented us with many unforeseen challenges, but safety is still our priority,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “If you choose to travel this Thanksgiving weekend, our goal is to help motorists arrive at their destination without incident.”
During the 2019 Thanksgiving MEP, 42 people died on California roadways. Of the 27 who died within CHP jurisdiction, 11 were not wearing seat belts. The CHP also made 867 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
According to a 2020 survey conducted by OTS and California State University Fresno, nearly half of respondents believed it is acceptable to speed as long as it is not more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, but 78% believed it to be unacceptable to drive 20 miles per hour or more over the speed limit.