Illinois Sees Decline In Speeding Tickets, Rise in Road Fatalities

The number of speeding tickets issued by Illinois State Police troopers has dropped significantly over the past 5 years according to a report by the State-Journal Register. The number of speeding tickets decreased by 40% from 211,857 in 2010 to 126,959 in 2015. In 2016, it is estimated that the Illinois State Police will issue approximately 104,000 speeding tickets.

The article analyzed data through Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act.

While the number of speeding tickets has declined, the number of traffic fatalities is up from 5 years ago. For the first time since 2008, the number of traffic fatalities in Illinois has surpassed 1,000. However, the number of fatalities is significantly lower than 15 years ago. In 2001, there were 1,414 fatalities and in the 1970’s, the numbers were typically around 2,000.

Experts question whether there is a correlation between increased speed on the roadways and the increase in traffic fatalities. In 2014, the speed limit on rural interstates was increased from 65 to 70 mph. The ISP does not believe the change in speed limit has affected the number of traffic fatalities. They point to more miles driven per person, more vehicles on the road, and distracted driving, as factors.

In addition, there is a question of decreased enforcement. Primarily due to retirements and attrition, the division of the Illinois State Police primarily responsible for traffic enforcement has been reduced from 1,849 in 2009 to 1,462 in 2016. However, the ISP has stated that no layoffs have occurred.

The ISP plans to continue to reduce fatalities through aggressive enforcement of speeding, DUI, distracted driving and seatbelt compliance.

Illinois sees plunge in speeding tickets issued by troopers, December 18, 2016, http://www.qconline.com

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