According to a recent NHTSA report, drivers who remained on the roads during COVID-19 restrictions engaged in more risky behavior, including speeding, failure to wear seatbelts and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The rate of fatal crashes per mile driven through the first half of 2020 was the highest it has been in more than 10 years.
One may ask, how will this change as we hopefully move out of the pandemic in 2021? Well, in direct response to the report from NHTSA, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) said it will kick off a Speed Management Pilot Program in 2021.
The program is expected to roll out similar to the Click It or Ticket seatbelt program, which began in North Carolina before expanding nationwide. Because of the culture of speeding in this country, the program will include both rural and urban roadways, although its exact location has not yet been announced.
A proposal for the pilot, which was published in January 2020 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and GHSA, specifies that the program would include tactics such as ‘traffic calming’ by making roads narrower or adding pavement markings that encourage drivers to slow down. The use of radar, as well as ‘saturation patrols’ and automated traffic enforcement focusing on speeding prevention, are also mentioned.