Americans don’t take the dangers of speeding seriously enough, safety advocates say, so it’s time for states and localities to get tougher on fast drivers. That could mean lowering speed limits, installing more speed cameras and creating a social stigma for speeding drivers akin to that of drunk drivers.
Those are some of the conclusions of a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a group of state traffic safety officials. The report reads like a call-to-arms for officials to pay attention to a long-overlooked danger that leads to thousands of road deaths each year.
“The only thing more shocking than the oversized role speeding plays in crashes, fatalities and injuries is the fact that little has changed over time,” wrote Tara Casanova Powell, an independent researcher, for the GHSA.
Policy makers and the public have largely ignored the issue, even though the proportion of traffic deaths related to speeding has remained steady at about 26 percent since the beginning of the millennium. “Despite the best efforts of the traffic safety community," Powell wrote, "speeding remains a cultural norm.”