Another month has gone by, and we hope you and your family are doing well and staying safe in the midst of the battle against COVID-19—at home, at work, and on the roads.
During the coronavirus shutdown, traffic has not been nearly as heavy as we are used to here in Massachusetts. With fewer cars on the roads, however, some motorists are driving much faster and taking more risks than they otherwise would. Last month, the Registry of Motor Vehicles reported that at least 134 tickets were handed out to drivers for exceeding 100 mph—a significant increase over the same time last year. This isn’t just a local issue, as a spike in speeding has been seen across the country.
Speeding has notoriously been one of the major causes of car crashes and serious—even fatal— injuries. Unfortunately, since the shutdown began in March, we have not seen a decrease in traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities even though there are far fewer cars on the roads. In fact, the number of fatal motor vehicle crashes has actually increased in Massachusetts. According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, there were 28 fatalities in April 2020, which is more than the reported deaths in April 2019 despite approximately 50% less traffic.
As Governor Baker’s phased reopening plan continues, we can expect traffic to gradually increase on the Massachusetts highways and roadways. Just like we are all doing our part to stay safe and healthy from the coronavirus, we all need to contribute to safer roadways and highways. Although the roads may be open, please remember to slow down. The consequences are obvious and real.