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Michigan police stepping up speed enforcement to stem rise in speed-related fatalities

Enforcement period will run June 17-25, 2023

Speeding is a dangerous and aggressive behavior that accounts for one-fourth of all traffic fatalities nationally. Since the pandemic began more than three years ago, police agencies throughout Michigan are continuing to report an alarming rise in speeding and fatal crashes.

To address this disturbing trend, the Michigan State Police, along with county and municipal police agencies across Michigan, will conduct speed enforcement June 17-25, 2023.

In 2021, there were 237 speed-related fatalities on Michigan roads, an increase of 18.5 percent over 2020, when 200 people died. Nationally in 2020, 11,258 fatalities involved crashes in which one or more drivers were speeding, an 18 percent increase over the 9,478 fatalities in 2019. 

Katie Bower, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, said the goal of increased enforcement is to change these risky-driving behaviors and save lives.

“Speeding continues to be a critical issue in Michigan that leads to many needless crashes, serious injuries and fatalities on our roadways,” Bower said. “We are in the busy, warm-weather travel season with many families driving to their favorite destinations to enjoy the summer break. Unfortunately, there will be some drivers on the road who put everyone at risk by speeding and driving recklessly, making crashes more likely. These vital speed-enforcement periods help lessen the impact of those dangerous, impatient drivers.”

In Michigan, the number of traffic crashes rose from 245,432 in 2020 to 282,640 in 2021, an increase of 15 percent. There was also a rise in fatalities (1,131 in 2021 compared to 1,083 in 2020).

Also in Michigan, according to speed-involved data from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, in 2021:
- 13.3 percent of unrestrained drivers involved in crashes were speeding. 
- 10.2 percent of drivers in the 15- to 20-year-old age group involved in crashes were speeding. This is higher than the overall speeding-driver rate of 5.2 percent in 2021.
- There were 24,555 speed-related crashes, which is a 10.3 percent increase from the 22,260 speed-related crashes in 2020.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, local roads are more dangerous than highways for speeders. In 2020, 87 percent of all speeding-related traffic fatalities occurred on non-interstate roadways.

Recent insurance industry studies show that approximately 112,000 speeding tickets are issued each day, or about 41 million per year.

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