Is It Me or Are Mainers Driving Really Poorly These Days?
Is it me or are Maine drivers really off their game these days? I live on a busy intersection, and in the past 24 hours, I have seen people blow through stoplights, a couple of stop signs, and go the wrong way down One Way streets. I have also seen horrendous parking jobs. We need to turn this around people!
According to a great article by the Portland Press Herald, law enforcement has cited more people than ever for driving 100 miles per hour. Criminal speeding tickets (going 30mph or more over the limit) are up 33%.
Police are concerned and are taking swift action to try and turn our bad driving habits around. Funded by a grant from the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, several local police departments around the state are holding speed enforcement details in their communities. Our heroes at the Saco Police Department had one this week and shared their results on Facebook:
"During the March 30th speed enforcement detail, officers spent time in several locations and issued 12 civil summons and one criminal summons over four hours. Fines for civil speeding violations in the State of Maine range from $114 to $278. Operators traveling 30 MPH over the speed limit are subject to arrest or criminal summons."
As we were pouring over stats about Maine car accidents, it's interesting to note that even though the total number of car crashes was down last year, that car fatalities actually went up. Because of the pandemic, traffic was down about 30% on Maine roads. So why the uptick in fatalities even though there were fewer drivers on the road? Authorities think it's because people went faster on emptier roads and also because people were out of the practice of driving every day. Also because of the emptier roads, there was more distracted driving-probably because of texting while driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also has seen more drivers who had been drinking and taking drugs, and also fewer people overall who were wearing seatbelts.
Let's be careful out there!