PSA: The Empty-ish Highways Are Not Nascar Tracks

Again in Could, I used to be on Zoom with a couple of coworkers, ready for a gathering to begin. Like so typically occurs in conditions like this, we began speaking a couple of random subject to move the time, which occurred to be the pandemic and site visitors tickets. One dude mentioned his buddy was a freeway patrol officer. He talked about that his officer buddy informed him that the native freeway patrol was instructed to restrict pulling folks over to restrict coronavirus publicity. Then he raised his eyebrows and gave half a smile, and I out of the blue realized what he was actually saying: that as a result of pandemic, he — and, from the seems of issues, many others — can now use this as an excuse to drive like a complete dick.

Now pay attention, I don’t need to be labeled a rule-following nerd-face, however velocity limits are put into place for easy public security. And with or with out officers pulling folks over, we actually needs to be following the velocity restrict as a result of, you understand, it saves lives. However apparently there are lots of people on the market who acquired phrase that officers had been pulling again on pulling folks over, and went all hog wild. Information flash: Officers are pulling folks over once more, and properly, dashing tickets are means, means, up.

To be clear, there may be some fact to what my coworker mentioned in that assembly a couple of months in the past. Based on CBS Pittsburgh, there was a “momentary discount in site visitors enforcement within the early days of the pandemic… to keep away from spreading the coronavirus.” This, mixed with fewer folks being on the highway, has triggered loads of drivers to really feel comfy flexing their fuel pedal.

For instance, The Iowa State Patrol recorded a 101% enhance from January by way of August over the four-year common in tickets for speeds exceeding 100 mph, together with a 75% enhance in tickets for speeds of 25 mph or extra over the posted velocity restrict. Sure, you learn that proper. 101% enhance in speeds exceeding 100 mph.

I’m not going to attempt to say I’m guilt-free within the dashing area. After I was 21, I as soon as acquired pulled over for going 115 on a rural Utah freeway. The ticket was huge, and I by no means went that quick once more. I wish to assume that the general public in Iowa have discovered their lesson too, however with 2020 being the way in which that it’s, I doubt it.

People Are Using The Pandemic As A Reason To Drive Like A D*ck
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Sadly, nonetheless, it’s not simply restricted to Iowans. California Freeway Patrol officers issued greater than 15,000 tickets from mid-March by way of Aug. 19 for speeds exceeding 100 mph. This was a 100% enhance over the identical time interval a 12 months in the past. Ohio, Utah, and Vermont have all seen related will increase in folks driving just like the world is ending.

And sure, I get the urge. It does really feel just like the world is ending proper now. I stay in Oregon, and as I kind this sentence, there may be ash falling outdoors my window from wildfires. The college I work for is now a shelter, and it sort of feels like I’m residing within the dystopian novel The Street. So yeah, it undoubtedly looks like 2020 is the top of days.

However … I’m nonetheless optimistic that it’s not. Or not less than I hope it’s not, and so all you dick-faces on the market utilizing the pandemic as an excuse to hurry have to knock it off. I don’t need to state the plain, however lives are at stake right here. Not solely are freeway officers placing themselves prone to contracting COVID by pulling you over, you’re placing your self prone to contracting COVID by being pulled over. You’re additionally placing everybody on the freeway in danger.

Together with the rise in dashing tickets, there was a rise in highway fatalities. July was Ohio’s deadliest site visitors month since 2007, with 154 fatalities. California has seen an 8% enhance within the variety of folks killed on the roadways, and Connecticut had a 42% enhance in deaths.

I imply, wow! Now we have already misplaced near 200,000 People to COVID. Do we actually must be dropping further lives on the highway since you are driving like your mother and father aren’t dwelling? I don’t need to flip this publish right into a lecture, however I don’t see any means round it. America, get your act collectively. I’m each mad and disenchanted.

2020 has been a tough 12 months. Nobody will say in another way. And yeah, I get that some folks need to blow off some steam by driving actually quick and carefree, however now actually isn’t the time. I would like everybody studying this to sit down down and take a deep breath. Then I would like you to say to your self, “I’ll obey all site visitors legal guidelines as a result of I’m not going to make 2020 any deadlier than it already is.” I’ll wait. Did you do it? Thanks.

Now buckle up, use your flip sign, and again that lead foot off the fuel pedal.

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