Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association Reminds Drivers of the Risk of Speeding Through National ‘Speeding Wrecks Lives’ Campaign

PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association, representing the police chiefs of Rhode Island, is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in reminding drivers to follow speed limits.

On Wednesday, the NHTSA launched the Speeding Wrecks Lives national public education campaign addressing speeding. The campaign, which runs through Aug. 14, aims to change the general attitudes toward speeding and remind drivers of the deadly consequences. 

According to the NHTSA, 11,258 people died in speeding-related crashes in 2020, and speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all fatal crashes. Even with fewer cars on the road during the pandemic, 2020 saw a dramatic increase — 17% — in speeding-related deaths compared to 2019.

The data also showed the following statistics for 2020:

  • Local roads saw the most speeding, with 87% of all speeding-related traffic fatalities occurring on non-interstate roads. 
  • Speeding contributed to 37% of the fatal crashes in work zones.
  • Speeding was a factor in more fatal crashes on wet roads than dry roads. 
  • Drinking and speeding is the deadliest combination. Of the drivers involved in fatal crashes, 37% were speeding and had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

“Speeding — even by just a little — puts everyone on the roads in danger, including yourself, your passengers, other drivers, pedestrians and crash responders,” said Sean Corrigan, RIPCA President and Narragansett Police Chief. “The dangerous and lasting effects of speeding are obvious, and as we continue working to reduce fatalities on Rhode Island’s roads, we remind all drivers of the importance of following speed limits and driving attentively.”

Speeding is risky driving behavior as it reduces your ability to steer safely around another vehicle, a hazardous object or an unexpected curve; extends the time it takes your vehicle to stop; and increases the risk of a crash because other vehicles and pedestrians may not be able to judge your distance correctly. Speed also affects your safety even when you are driving at the speed limit but too fast for road conditions, such as during bad weather, when a road is under repair, or in an area at night that isn’t well lit.

Even the safest cars with the newest technologies are limited in how much they can help reduce the odds of a crash. 

In addition to the safety risks, speeding is illegal and can result in citations, fines and higher insurance rates. 

“Like impaired driving, speeding is a choice and an all-too-common and risky driving practice. Speed limits are the law and are in place to keep everyone safe,” said Sidney M. Wordell, RIPCA Executive Director. “We hope this summer’s campaign will further raise awareness of the danger of speeding and the severe consequences it can have.”

Drivers who encounter speeders on the road are encouraged to move over and let them by and give speeding drivers plenty of space. Drivers can also call police to report aggressive and dangerous driving. 

To learn more about the dangers and consequences of speeding, click here

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Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association Reminds Drivers of the Risk of Speeding Through National ‘Speeding Wrecks Lives’ Campaign