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Survey: 96 percent of us admit to speeding on Virginia roadways

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A recent #YourSayVA digital town hall tells us that 96 percent of Virginians cop to driving over the speed limit.

The other 4 percent are interesting people.

You mean to say, they drive 25 in 25 zones? Seriously?

We won’t focus any more of our time on those folks, though.

The 96 percent who admit to speeding say they “at least sometimes” do so, which, ha.

Forty-three percent say they speed “frequently” or “most of the time.”

Here we go.

“We are grateful for the more than 600 Virginians who took the time to share their thoughts on the impact of speed on our roadways in our second #YourSayVA digital town hall,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “While speed continues to play a major role in crashes that claim hundreds of lives every year, the information collected through this town hall will help to better understand how such crashes can be prevented.”

“In the year 2021, we have already witnessed too many preventable traffic fatalities as a result of speeding,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Our highways are safer for everyone when drivers choose to follow speed limits. As thousands of Virginians prepare to travel for the holidays, I ask that we all remember that slowing down to the posted limit can save a life.”

Speed has been the leading factor in fatal crashes on Virginia roadways for more than a decade, a trend that mirrors national statistics. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for two-plus decades, speed has been involved in one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities.

In 2019, more than 9,000 people died in speed-related crashes on America’s roadways – 26 percent of all crash fatalities, per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Crashes are more likely at higher speeds, IIHS says, because it takes a vehicle longer to stop or slow down; speed makes crashes deadlier because, as speed increases, so does the force of a crash.

Speeding is the latest traffic-safety priority to be addressed by the Governor and his Executive Leadership Team on Highway Safety, which is composed of representatives from the Virginia Departments of Motor Vehicles, Transportation, Health, Education and State Police, and led by the Secretaries of Transportation and Public Safety and Homeland Security. The team is charged with reducing fatalities on Virginia’s roadways and driving change in the Commonwealth’s highway safety culture.

In 2020, 22,479 speed-related crashes on Virginia roadways resulted in 406 fatalities, the highest number of fatalities in at least 10 years. As of Nov. 30, 417 speed-related fatalities have occurred – a 12 percent increase over the number of deaths last year at the same time.

Of those surveyed, just 31 percent rated speed as a “very serious” problem. Conversely, 40 percent indicated speed was not a serious problem.

When asked why they speed, 43 percent of respondents said they are following the speed of surrounding traffic, while 23 percent indicated that the posted speed limits seem too low.

Full survey results can be viewed at TZDVA.org.

Story by Chris Graham


augusta free press
augusta free press