Pandemic Roads Turn into Racetracks

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

The coronavirus pandemic has caused the number of vehicles on the road to drastically drop, and some drivers have been taking advantage of the empty roadways. These open roads have served as the perfect racetracks for speeding drivers. This trend of speeding has been seen in multiple locations and is not tied to just one area.

Decrease in Traffic

The spike of speeding drivers has only gotten higher as the pandemic has gone on. Since many people are working from home there are less drivers on the road during common commuting times and people are leaving their homes less frequently leaving roads clear. It is alarming that the number of speeding tickets and reckless driving tickets have increased while the number of vehicles on the road has greatly decreased.

Speeding Drivers

Drivers are seeing these empty highways and roads as an opportunity to exceed speeds of 100 miles per hour which is unsafe and dangerous on any roadway. Police officers are issuing more speeding tickets and traffic citations in the past year than they were before the pandemic started. This surge in reckless driving is putting hundreds of people at risk and has led to a disproportionate number of fatal car crashes. In April 2020, three men drove across the United States in 26 hours and 38 minutes; that means they would have had to be driving at speeds higher than 100 mph. That speed is reckless, dangerous, and unnecessary. Drivers should not take advantage of the pandemic creating empty roads and should not turn these roads into their own personal race course.

Street Racing

Street racing, while highly illegal and dangerous, has also been on the rise during the pandemic. The roadways have turned into the perfect race course for drivers to compete on. Street racing puts everyone involved at risk including those who may not be participating but may be in the vicinity. Pedestrians could turn into victims in an instant as the drivers could lose control of their vehicles. “Motor vehicle accidents on a normal day can result in life changing injuries and consequences,” says Lawyer Steve Rastin of Rastin Gluckstein Lawyers. “When driving at such high speeds, it can be easy to lose control of the car and there is often not enough time for a driver to react if there are red lights, pedestrians, or other obstacles that could cause an accident.” Police officers have been affected by the street racing uptick as well as they have to track down the speeders and often are putting themselves in danger to stop the perpetrators. In Atlanta, a police officer was killed when he was hit by a street racing participant.

Law Enforcement Involvement

Law enforcement officers are taking these speeding violations seriously and issuing more tickets every day to try and combat the issue. One of the problems is that officers are being spread thin and posting more officers on major roadways is not always possible. While officers are staying vigilant and ticketing speeders, when drivers see less law enforcement posted on the roadway they see that as an invitation to