coronavirus

Fewer People on the Roads Turns LA Freeways Into Indy 500

Speeders were ticketed in the LA area at a higher rate last month than in the same month in 2019.

CHP

Drivers are hitting the wide, empty Los Angeles freeways, putting pedal to the metal, thinking the cops are at home during the coronavirus quarantine as the CHP reports a spike in speeding tickets for over 100 mph.

Los Angeles County saw a 35% spike in tickets written for speeding in excess of 100 mph last month, compared to March 2019, jumping from 155 to 210, according to CHP speeding ticket data analyzed by NBCLA. Statewide, the number jumped 41%, going from 1,233 in March 2019 to 1,743 last month.

Only one other speeding ticket category saw an increase in LA County -- a 9% jump in tickets for unsafe speed for prevailing conditions. Statewide, driving over 100 was the only such category that saw an increase. Tickets for driving over 65 and 55 both went down in LA County and statewide, the data shows.

The CHP warns that it is still out there in force during the pandemic, 24/7, armed with radar and speedy squad cars.

"Just because of COVID-19 doesn't mean we're not out there enforcing the laws," said CHP Officer Jose Barrios. "If we see a violation, you are going to get stopped."

And they're not just pulling over Corvettes and Ferraris. Barrios said he saw a ticket for a minivan going over 90 mph.

"I mean, really? Come on," Barrios said. "There's really no rhyme or reason. They're not paying attention to the speedometer."

CHP officers have taken to Instagram, posting the most egregious cases -- a Nissan Altima clocked at 115 in Baldwin Park. Another officer counted at least six citations for over 100 mph. A 2003 Honda Accord was going 100 plus.

You're more likely to get your license suspended, get points added to your driving record and a hefty fine for a citation over 100 MPH, the CHP said.

"It's not worth it, slow down, there is less traffic...enjoy it at the speed limit...," the CHP in Oceanside posted with a picture of a speeding violation for 104.

Rain this week, exacerbates the problem. Speeders are losing control and crashing into center dividers. The rain this week doesn't help.

"Motorist after Motorist, Crash after Crash driving at speeds too fast for conditions ⛈ ending up with a wrecked vehicle. PLEASE SLOW DOWN !!!" the CHP Central Division posted.

On Thursday, the CHP out of Capistrano posted one.

Barrios said that those who need to drive on the freeways and want to drive lawfully, should always remember to check their rearview mirrors in case a speeder is coming up from behind them and always look before you change lanes.

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