AMES, Iowa — The Iowa and Nebraska departments of transportation, the City of Omaha, Nebraska, and more than 20 agencies and organizations are asking motorists to watch their speed as part of Speeding Awareness Week, which began on Monday.
As traffic volumes have rebounded from an initial decline during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, speeding has remained a serious issue, according to a news release from the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT).
“These two factors, speeding and high traffic volumes, have resulted in a staggering number of speeding tickets in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro areas,” the news release stated.
“And while areas across the country are dealing with excessive speeding issues, Omaha and Council Bluffs metro area agencies are hoping to combat the problem via an educational campaign before traffic volumes increase even more during the spring and summer months.”
“Metro area law enforcement agencies and first responders have noticed that speeding has increasingly become a factor in crashes, both in minor incidents and more serious crashes,” said Austin Yates, an engineer with IDOT. “This is an issue that can’t be ignored. Any speeding puts more lives at risk, which is why we partnered up to declare this week Speeding Awareness Week.”
Speed impacts those outside of vehicles, too.
Speed changes can have real-life consequences for pedestrians. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, if a person is hit by a vehicle going 20 miles per hour, there is a 10 percent chance of fatality. The chance of fatality increases to 40 percent if a vehicle is going 30 mph and then increases to an 80 percent chance of fatality if the vehicle’s speed is at 40 miles per hour.
“Speed limits are posted as they are for one very good reason – safety,” said Jeff Sobczyk, Vision Zero coordinator with the City of Omaha. “The risk of fatalities even at relatively low speeds is too great to make any speeding worth it.”
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