Even though fewer cars have been traveling on California roads as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it appears that the number of speeding drivers has risen substantially. Recent reports from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) indicate that the number of citations for excessive speeding has increased by a whopping 87 percent since mid-March. Even as “stay home, stay safe” restrictions begin to ease over the next weeks and months, drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians throughout southern California should be on the lookout for speeding drivers whose reckless behavior could result in an accident.
Number of Speeding Tickets Rises Significantly
Fewer drivers traveled along city and state roadways after California Governor Gavin Newsom issued his executive order on March 19, 2020. However, as the number of auto accident reports fell during this period, the number of speeding tickets issued by CHP officers jumped quite dramatically. Between March 19 and April 19 of this year, CHP officers issued a total of 2,493 tickets to drivers who were speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour. During this same period in 2019, 1,335 tickets for this offense were issued. Apparently, the lack of traffic seems to entice some drivers to travel much faster than they would under normal circumstances.
Incidents of Reckless Driving on the Rise
In addition to an uptick in speeding tickets, more drivers have been charged with reckless driving. One officer clocked a driver traveling at a speed of 165 miles per hour along Interstate 5 in the San Juan Capistrano area, leading to his arrest. He now faces multiple charges, including speeding, reckless driving, and driving without a license. Other reports of California drivers who have been charged with excessive speeding or reckless driving continue to rise, especially as the less congested highways may invite some drivers to travel at faster speeds.
In response to this increase in speeding and reckless driving incidents, California has programmed its 700 electric highways signs to display messages about driving safely. Also, the city of Los Angeles has made some changes to traffic lights and pedestrian walk signals to address the fact that some cars are traveling up to 30 percent faster on certain streets. CHP officials are concerned that this uptick in speeding may lead to more serious auto accidents that involve catastrophic injuries or fatalities. As the state of California begins to slowly reopen the economy and ease COVID-19 related restrictions, drivers must be on high alert to ensure that they are being safe.
If you have been involved in an auto accident in the Temecula area and you need help collecting compensation, contact Hales & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation at (951) 489-3320 to get started.