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The Arkansas State Police is joining with four other state highway patrol agencies that comprise Region 7 of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to make highway travel safer for the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend (May 6th – 8th).
State troopers in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Arkansas will intensify their patrols as part of a regional Slow Down, Move Over combined enforcement campaign. The mission is intended to encourage drivers to obey the speed limits and remind them of the danger that occurs when driving too fast. Additionally, the troopers will be strictly enforcing laws requiring drivers to move over for emergency vehicles.
Across the nation during 2020, 30% of all crash fatalities were related to speeding. According to NHTSA, a crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 miles per hour or greater is more than twice as likely to be fatal than a crash on a road with a speed limit of 45 or 50 MPH and nearly five times as likely on a road with a speed limit of 40 MPH or below.
“It’s the responsibility of law enforcement officers everywhere to keep motorists safe on the highways and one way of doing this is to encourage drivers to obey the speed limit and move over laws,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police. “There were 787 lives lost during 2020 in our five state region due to speeding. We want to make sure everyone can celebrate together for Mother’s Day this year and many more to come.
In 2020, more than 11,200 lives were lost across the United States in speeding-related traffic crashes – a 17% increase from 2019. Any time drivers speed, they put themselves, their passengers, and other drivers and pedestrians at risk.
Move Over laws help primary first responders and tow trucks by requiring all drivers to safely move to a parallel traffic lane when approaching a vehicle with activated emergency lighting equipment.
A recent study of highway traffic in the Kansas City metropolitan area found that sixty-six percent (66%) of motorist move over for emergency responders and tow providers.
“Making traffic stops, investigating crashes, and assisting motorists on the side of the road is dangerous. In fact, since 2017, 149 law enforcement officers alone have been killed in traffic related incidents,” said Colonel Bryant.
This Mother’s Day, every driver on the highway is asked to remember, Slow Down, Move Over. For more information on speeding prevention, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/speeding.