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You Idiots Are Going To Kill People

Illustration for article titled You Idiots Are Going To Kill People
Photo: ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP via (Getty Images)

The alarming trend of increased speeding violations and, in some cases, a year-over-year doubling of traffic fatalities during the COVID-19 pandemic continues into the fall, as police agencies around the country report it’s an all-out death race on America’s roads right now.

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This past July was the deadliest traffic month since 2007 in Ohio, according to the Associated Press. Through August, there have been 43 traffic fatalities in Vermont—up from 21 at the same time the year before. And the local police agencies claim it’s the perception of reduced traffic and less enforcement that is leading people to drive at higher speeds and cause more fatal crashes.

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From AP:

The Iowa State Patrol recorded a 101% increase from January through August over the four-year average in tickets for speeds exceeding 100 mph, along with a 75% increase in tickets for speeds of 25 mph or more over the posted speed limit.

California Highway Patrol officers issued more than 15,000 tickets from mid-March through Aug. 19 for speeds exceeding 100 mph, more than a 100% increase over the same time period a year ago. That includes a continuing spike from May on.

The most likely explanation is drivers taking advantage of more open roads because of the pandemic, said Officer Ian Hoey, a spokesman for the California agency.

[...]

In Ohio, state troopers have issued 2,200 tickets since April for driving more than 100 mph, a 61% increase over the same time period a year ago. The highest ticketed speed was 147 mph in the Cincinnati area.

If your modern car detects you going over 120 mph around other living people in a public area, it should spontaneously combust inside. Most American cars used to come like that from the factory, though not intentionally.

Obviously it would make sense that speeding and fatalities increase once all the bone-headed assholes who peaked in high school think they won’t get a ticket because cops are scared of the virus. I just wish I didn’t have to worry about them plowing into me while I’m currently peaking.

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DISCUSSION

reverenddexter
Ratchet when he's all hopped up on synthetic energon

Would excessive speeding like this be reduced if all speed limits were based on some sort of scientifically-based actual safe traveling speed, rather than having areas of arbitrary reduced limits, seemingly for no reason other than revenue generation?

Or, more directly, would we have less assholes going crazy fast if we were just all allowed to go appropriately fast?