The Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol kicked of their No Need 2 Speed campaign designed to reduce speeding on our highways. The two-week campaign, which was announced on Monday, runs from November 15 through the end of Thanksgiving weekend on November 28.
“North Carolina law enforcement will be cracking down on speeders who recklessly endanger our citizens,” said GHSP director David Weinstein. “We lost 472 people last year due to speed-related crashes. I urge drivers to slow down and obey the speed limit.”
The April 2010 campaign cited more than 15,000 motorists across the state for speeding. How are we doing so far? Not great. In just two hours yesterday, on just one road in Wake County, 149 speeding citations were written. In addition, five motorists were caught driving without a license or with a revoked license, and one fugitive was nabbed. This all happened on one small stretch of I-40.
It is amazing that people drive like this even after they have been warned about a speeding crackdown. We drive the highways in eastern North Carolina everyday, and they are beginning to resemble a racetrack. Several years ago, there was a study done by a traffic specialist to determine how much time is actually saved by speeding. It seems obvious that driving faster will get us where we’re going more quickly, but this scientist checked to see if it was true. Compared with people who drove in the right lane and stayed at the speed limit, people who raced 10+ mph over the speed limit, weaving in and out of slower traffic saved themselves only 5 minutes for each hour they drove.
The lesson was that speeding was perceived to be a greater advantage than it actually was. In addition, there are costs associated with speeding: more frequent trips to the gas pumps, speeding tickets, and eventually higher insurance premiums. And, of course, speed is a common risk factor for car wrecks.
So, slow down these next 10 days to avoid the “No Need 2 Speed” radar… and then consider slowing down on the roads everyday. Is saving a mere 5 minutes really worth the stress, cost, and risk of speeding?