Empty Streets but Speeding Drivers
While Long Island police have issued fewer speeding tickets during the COVID-19 pandemic, the decrease is mainly due to fewer cars being on the road. Even so, the number of drivers seeing empty roads as an opportunity to drive at extreme speeds is disproportionately high.
Traffic Statistics During Covid-19
According to Newsday, the Nassau County Police Commissioner said he’d heard about drivers “flying” on the LIE and other highways.
Yet, as expected, due to people sheltering at home, traffic violations have dropped dramatically from March 1 to April 22.
- 4,065 traffic tickets issued (2020)
- 1,258 issued for speeding (2020)
- 67 DWI arrests (2020)
- 68% drop in overall tickets issued for the same time period in 2019
- 12,805 traffic tickets issued (2019 same period)
- 3,085 speeding tickets (2019 same period)
- 171 DWI arrests (2019 same period)
During the COVID shutdown, officers were issuing more warnings than usual instead of issuing tickets. They did this in an effort to maintain social distancing and to avoid contact by asking for drivers’ licenses.
Decrease in Car Accidents
Car accidents dropped by 28.4% (7,265 in 2020 from Jan through April 22). There were 10,149 accidents during the same time in 2019.
Suffolk County police showed a drop of 15.84% of speeding summonses from March 1 to April 11 over 2019.
However, the drop in traffic tickets was not proportionate to the drop in traffic volume. Traffic volume on Long Island and NYC roadways has decreased by 75% during the pandemic.
Watch Out for Speeding Drivers
It is not just NYC and Long Island authorities that have noticed a disproportionate increase in speeding. According to Reuters, from New York to Los Angeles and from London to Berlin, drivers are speeding on empty roads. Some drivers have been clocked at over 100 mph. As drivers become overly confident about their ability to handle high speeds, average driving speeds have increased significantly, in some areas by 75%.
If you are seriously injured in a car accident, seek legal help as soon as possible and hold the culpable party accountable. By doing so you can help make roadways safer for everyone.