Slow down: Michigan police launch speeding crackdown in multi-state effort

Traffic fatalities rose in 2020, despite lower volume

Michigan State Police and local departments are joining a multi-state effort to crackdown on speeding drivers starting this weekend across the state.

As part of the “Great Lakes, High Stakes” campaign, more than 30 municipal, county and Michigan State Police (MSP) law enforcement agencies will focus on speeding drivers between June 19 and 27. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Region 5 Office are partnering with five other states on a regional traffic safety campaign.

OHSP cites a rise in traffic fatalities last year, which according to preliminary data released in May, broke the 1,000 mark for the first time in three years.

The 1,083 fatalities in 2020 marked a 10-percent increase from 985 fatalities in 2019 and the most traffic fatalities in Michigan since 1,084 deaths in 2007, according to OHSP data. All of this despite the fact that the total number of crashes was down in 2020, by about 60,000. The trend was similar on a national scale, with the highest number of deaths since 2007.

More: Michigan traffic deaths up 10% in 2020; Bike deaths increase 81%

“Despite the fact that there were less miles traveled in 2020, the fatality rate rose -- and speed may have been a key factor,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the OHSP. “We’ve said for decades that ‘speed kills,’ and the alarming data for 2020 confirms that the faster you drive the greater your risk of dying in a crash. We hope increased enforcement over the coming weeks will help change these dangerous driving behaviors and save lives.”

According to OHSP, In 2020, there were 200 speed-related fatalities on Michigan roadways compared to 185 in 2019, an 8-percent increase.

The average fine for a speeding violation is between $115-$135.

Related: How much each of the 26 traffic tickets costs Michigan drivers in insurance penalties

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Ken Haddad has proudly been with WDIV/ClickOnDetroit since 2013. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters, and helps lead the WDIV Insider team. He's a big sports fan and is constantly sipping Lions Kool-Aid.