The Vermont State Police are preparing to initiate a statewide
traffic enforcement campaign based on a carefully focused
analytical review of the 37 crashes that have killed 42 people in
Vermont during the first six months of 2012. And while the latest
iteration of crash data points to the seemingly random nature of
the fatal crash indicators, we know that excessive speed is a
causation factor in several crashes.
To help combat the epidemic of serious and fatal crash rates of
2012, the Vermont State Police through funding from Governor
Highway Safety Program (GHSP) will be kicking off 63 days of
Operation Summer H.E.A.T. (High Enforcement Area Team) from July 4
through September 3.
Vermont has experienced a disturbing increase of deadly crashes
during the past six months. The hard reality is that 50% of this
year's fatalities (about 21 people) have been unbelted, 12 of those
operators appear to have been impaired by either alcohol or other
substances; and 10 were directly caused by excessive speed. In
recent years highway fatalities have been reduced by about 25%
nationwide. And last year's 55 roadway deaths in Vermont were the
lowest since 1944.
Lt. John Flannigan, Vermont State Police Traffic Safety
Commander, remarked, "We've made great strides saving lives through
enforcement, education, engineering safer roads and an improved
ability to render medical aid immediately following a crash;
however we have to work harder and more effectively in working
towards zero deaths on Vermont roadways."
For the rest of the summer, the motoring public can expect to
see more state, county and local law enforcement officers working
in the specific areas that have been identified as having higher
crash rates. Analysts will continue to monitor data on a daily
basis to evaluate where and when the deployment of enforcement
resources will provide the most significant impact.
Ted Minall, GHSP Chief, joins the rest of the law enforcement
community in reminding the public, "Speed limits posted on the
interstate and on those routes they patrol will be strictly
enforced in direct response to the dynamic increase in roadway
tragedies so for this year."
The Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn urges Vermonters to,
"Please use common sense. It isn't worth risking your life just to
get somewhere in a hurry. Slow down, or you will get stopped, or
you may pay the price for speeding."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has
just released a statistical projection of traffic fatalities in
2011 shows that an estimated 32,310 people died in motor vehicle
traffic crashes. This represents a decline of about 1.7 percent as
compared to the 32,885 fatalities that occurred in 2010.
Historically about 30% of all roadway fatalities are speed related,
meaning more than 9,600 people were killed in the United States in
crashes involving excessive speed.
It is well established that speeding tickets substantially
increase the cost of automobile insurance and more importantly it
is well chronicled that speed increases the likelihood of being
involved in an crash. The cost of speeding is just too great, slow
down and get there safe or you will feel the Summer H.E.A.T.