Troopers in 5 states crack down on speeding as pandemic changes drivers’ behavior

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LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — State troopers in five Midwestern states, including Kansas and Missouri, plan to crack down on drivers traveling at high speeds during the next two days.

The pandemic is being blamed for dangerous speeding taking place on the highways.
Missouri has seen a sharp increase in deadly crashes so far in 2020, even though there have been fewer vehicles on the roads.

State troopers in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska believe sparsely traveled roadways are encouraging those who are getting out and about to drive more aggressively. On Wednesday, the Nebraska State Patrol issued its 400th ticket for speeding in excess of 100 miles an hour.

And all of those tickets have been written, since the public health emergency began in March.

“We’ve heard a number of doozys, shall we say, from motorists who have deserved law enforcement intervention,” said Col. John Bolduc, of the Nebraska State Patrol.

“Those folks are coming up with excuses: It’s an open road. It’s safe. But anecdotally we can show them a few squad videos of deer running out on the highway in the middle of the road and getting involved in accidents at high speeds.”

Kansas has seen a 41% increase in tickets to drivers for speeds more than 100 miles an hour.

From noon until midnight on both Friday and Saturday, there will be more troopers on the roads in all these states, looking to stop speeders, reckless drivers and those who aren’t wearing seat belts.

Troopers fear as more families travel on vacations or return to their jobs, these dangerously high speeds are a recipe for disaster.

Their message is a simple one: Obey the sign or pay the fine.



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