ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Roanoke County police are urging people to slow down.
“We do see an increased number in speed complaints in neighborhoods, just more people being at home," said Sgt. Spencer Hoopes.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has provided law enforcement agencies with social media posts to share and is encouraging officers to post pictures or videos about why obeying the speed limit is important.
“That is imperative. It’s something you have to have. It’s always a group effort," said Hoopes. "Some people are under the assumption, ‘Well, hey, there’s nobody else around. It’s not a big deal if I speed.’ That’s certainly not the case at all.”
Virginia DMV Highway Safety Office Director John Saunders said as of April 24, crashes overall in Virginia had decreased nearly 80 percent since Gov. Northam’s stay-at-home order went into effect in March but the number of fatal and non-fatal speed-related crashes increased compared to 2019.
“We want to remind folks to be careful out there. Also, with this pandemic, we see more people bicycling, more pedestrians on our roadways who are truly our vulnerable road users and we want to watch out for them also," said Saunders.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there has been a “severe spike” in speeding nationwide as a result of so many people staying at home.
“...Emergency rooms in many areas of the country are at capacity, and the last thing they need is additional strain from traffic crash victims,” GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins said in a news release earlier this month.
The DMV campaign is also an opportunity to remind people about something that can be just as important as their speed.
“We see a lot of people out now wearing masks, trying to protect themselves. You should take the same care to put your seat belt on," Hoopes said.
Simple reminders that may slow you down, but may also save lives.