Traffic Safety Awareness, Enforcement Ramps Up In Del. As Fatal Accident Rates Rise

Hermann-Financial

Nearly three months into 2022, traffic fatalities in Delaware are currently doubled compared to this time of 2021, and the Delaware Office of Highway Safety and law enforcement agency partners are taking action to reverse the alarming trend.

The campaign in March will focus on the dangers of speeding and the importance of following posted speed limits.

As of earlier this week, there had been 33 fatalities in 29 fatal crashes so far this year, compared to 16 fatalities and fatal crashes at the same time of 2021. Last year also saw a 15-year high with 139 fatalities. Motorcycle fatalities reached a 40-year high, and pedestrian fatalities were up from 2020.

“These tragic deaths are avoidable and unacceptable. Our goal is to save lives, but we need the public to do their part to protect themselves and others,” Delaware Office of Highway Safety Director Kimberly Chesser said. “This campaign is a call to action for everyone to share personal responsibility, slow down, buckle up, and drive safely.”

Delaware State Police and DelDOT representatives also took part in Wednesday’s news conference.

Photo courtesy of Delaware Office of Highway Safety

“The Delaware State Police may, at times, represent the most visible depiction of traffic safety initiatives, but many colleagues across our State share the same critical mission. Delaware’s citizens and visitors can be assured Delaware State Troopers are vigilant on our roadways to help keep them safe. In addition, we will be partnering with other Delaware law enforcement agencies and agencies throughout our region. But, without question, our most valuable partner in this work is you. So please know when you see Troopers engaging motorists on the roadside, students in our schools, or perhaps citizens at community meetings, we are doing so to prioritize your safety and wellbeing,” Delaware State Police Superintendent Colonel Melissa Zebley said.

More information and advice was provided by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety:

OHS reminds Delawareans of the many negative consequences that speeding can impose, including:

  • Greater risk of crashes, injuries, and fatalities: The greater the speed, the less control the driver has and the higher the severity of the crash.
  • Enforcement costs: Speeders receive fines and points on their driver’s license that increase the more they exceed the speed limit. These consequences continue to increase in severity with each repeat offense.
  • Inconvenience: The loss or suspension of a driver’s license means having to rely on another person for transportation.
  • Potentially higher insurance premiums: Driving record is a big factor when it comes to auto insurance premiums. Moving violations, such as speeding tickets, can be a warning to insurance companies that a driver is a high risk to insure. It can also result in drivers having insurance premiums increased.

Traveling with speeders

Speeding drivers affect everyone on the road. Here’s how to minimize danger when encountering this behavior.

  • Move over: If you are in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let them by.
  • Give yourself plenty of space: Speeding drivers may lose control of their vehicle more easily. Keep your distance.
  • Be aware: Keep an eye on the accelerating driver and be prepared to react if the worst happens.
  • Avoid engaging: If a speeding or aggressive driver tries to engage you in risky driving, don’t do it.
  • Call the police: If you believe a driver is following you or harassing you, alert the police when it is safe to do so.

More information on the campaign is available at ArriveAliveDE.com/Slow-Down.