Traffic Fatalities Up While Driving is Down
According to the MassDOT, there was a spike in traffic fatalities in April over the previous year while there were 50% fewer cars on the road. The troubling statistic released by the DOT put the number of deaths on the road this past April at 28…one more than in April of 2019.
In a release by the DOT “The high fatality rate last month, underscores the importance of only taking essential trips during the State of Emergency, not exceeding the posted speed limit, wearing a seatbelt, driving sober, and adhering to the new Hands-Free law which took effect on February 23,"
As someone who logs hours of highway miles every day, I have witnessed drivers with open lanes driving at higher speeds than usual. It's been my observation that police in March and April, possibly because of their risk during this pandemic, were not pulling drivers over for excessive speed. In fact, during the last couple of months I did not witness a single car pulled over by a Mass State Policeman. Their visibility however was and continues to be extremely high. Every day on my drive it is commonplace to see a patrol car ever couple of miles. In all my years of driving I have never noticed the number of officers so visible, so often.
However, if you’ve been one of the motorists embolden to put the peddle to the metal, your days of high speeds with no consequences are over. Just this morning on the way to work I encountered three motorists within a mile of each other greeted by flashing blue lights.
We are currently living in an upside-down world filled with risk and uncertainty. We should all try a little harder to slow the world down around us. Exercise patience, a concern for others, and use extra precautions in everything we do. It could save a life.
Remember when driving it’s the law to move over a lane when you see the police or an emergency vehicle on the side of the highway. There are way too many police officers and tow truck operators killed on highways across the country each year. Currently there is a lot of roadwork on the Mass Pike as crews are fixing and replacing guardrails. For everyone's sake let's slow down and stay safe out there.