Northwest Iowa — According to the Iowa State Patrol, the number of speeders troopers are stopping for driving 100 mph or more has increased drastically across the state of Iowa, even as traffic volume has decreased.
Iowa State Patrol Trooper Kevin Krull theorizes that the jump in excessive speeds may have come, at least partially, to the decline in traffic brought about by COVID-19 restrictions.
(As above) “The speed has really gone up in the state of Iowa and I don’t know if it’s the fact that there’s less vehicles out there getting in people’s way so they’re able to pick their speeds up, but we’ve noticed a drastic increase in people driving excessively fast, including a hundred mile an hour.”
Krull says during the first quarter of 2020, the Iowa State Patrol caught 196 people driving more than 100 mph, with March alone posting a 33% increase in the number of those drivers stopped for exceeding the century mark on their speedometers.
(As above) “That’s for January through March, actually March alone was ninety five people, one month, ninety five people When you start thinking about how much that cost and how dangerous that really is, it’s just mind boggling.”
He says those speeds are especially dangerous when you take into account that listed speed limits are set by the DOT, and are the speeds for which the roads are designed.
(As above) “You start increasing that speed it just throws a real big wrench into everything as far as one little movement on that steering wheel at a hundred miles an hour it is a lot different than the speed of fifty five which is the posted speed limit on most of these roadways where people are being stopped at excessive speeds like this.”
Krull tells us that, while the speeds are up, traffic volumes are down.
(As above) “We’re talking anywhere from thirty to fifty percent less car traffic out on the road, so people are doing their part and staying home with this and doing a good thing that way, but we just need people to understand that they need to slow down. Speed is still numb number one factor in our major crashes that we have on the roadways out there that are killing people.”
Trooper Krull says that with the jump in numbers of people driving 100 mph or more on Iowa roadways, he’d expect to see a corresponding jump in fatality numbers, but that hasn’t happened so far. He says that’s probably due to the fact that there have been fewer other cars for those with a heavy foot to hit.