Stop Speeding Before We Stop You.
These last few weeks sure have been cold here in Ukiah. In this weather, it seems like everything takes a little longer in the morning: we wait for our cars to warm up, for the windows to defrost, and then we decide to run back inside to grab an extra sweater, scarf, or jacket.
Because it takes a bit longer to get going, we end up running behind schedule. When we get behind we think, “Maybe I can drive a little faster to get to work, school, or that very important appointment.”
What most people don’t realize is that speeding can be deadly to you and those around you. In fact, speeding caused 30 percent of all fatal car crashes in 2010, leading to the deaths of 10,395 people nationwide.
Even one life lost to speeding is one too many so here in Ukiah, the Police Department (UPD) is renewing its interest in making sure drivers slow down.
During the last four years, our patrol staff has been reduced by budget cuts while the demands for police services have continued to increase in Ukiah. Despite our reduced numbers, our police officers are working hard to solve crimes quickly when they occur, and prevent other crimes such as speeding from occurring.
Although we have fewer officers on the street, we want everyone to have information important to help protect them from crimes… or even from traffic tickets.
We recently began asking officers to spend some time each day on speed and traffic safety. Officers will direct their enforcement activities in neighborhoods where residents commonly complain about speeders and in areas where student pedestrians commonly walk to school.
Because of our renewed speed and traffic enforcement activity, I wanted to remind all drivers to stop speeding before we stop you.
Nationally, 86 percent of all speeding-related traffic fatalities occurred on local roadways (not highways). We don’t want those fatalities here, so be sure to stay alert and obey posted speed limits, especially in residential neighborhoods and school zones.
Driving above the posted speed limit (especially in bad weather) dramatically increases the chances that a motorist will be involved in a crash—putting themselves, their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians at tremendous risk.
In fact, in 2010 speeding was a factor in 28 percent of fatal crashes on dry roads, and in 33 percent of fatal crashes on wet roads. In wintry conditions the numbers were even worse, with speeding identified a factor in 58 percent of the fatal crashes on icy roads.
When drivers speed, they have a harder time slowing their vehicle to steer safely around danger (an unexpected curve, another vehicle, or a hazardous object in the road). In school zones or neighborhoods, speeding makes it more difficult to stop in time for children or other pedestrians crossing the road.
Among drivers involved in fatal crashes, young males are the most likely to speed. During 2010, 38 percent of male drivers’ ages 15-20 involved in a fatal crash were speeding at the time of the crash.
Our goal is to save lives. Please remember there is areasonfor posted speed limits. Our roadways can be dangerous, especially in cold and rainy weather, and speed limits are designed to protect everyone – drivers, passengers, pedestrians – everyone!
On the Ukiah Police Department website (www.ukiahpolice.com), we have posted more information about speeding and how it causes accidents.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have any suggestions or comments about how we can improve, please feel free to call me, complete our online survey, or leave a crime tip on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.