Speed Busters: Study finds speeding is as deadly as drunk driving

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The National Transportation and Safety Board recently released a 9-year study that determined speeding is a national safety issue.

Researchers studied data from 2005 to 2014. The study found that fatal crashes where speeding was a contributing factor accounted for about 31 percent of all traffic fatalities. During the same period, fatal crashes involving drunk drivers represented 31 percent of all traffic fatalities.

Leslee spoke with Chuck Farmer who is the Vice President of Research with the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. Farmer believes people tend to be OK with breaking the law when it comes to speeding versus drinking and driving. The two dangerous driving habits yield similar results.

“They know it’s wrong, they know it’s dangerous, but they still do it. But with alcohol they know it’s wrong, they know it’s dangerous, but they don’t do it. Or they try not to,” said Farmer.

Leslee decided to put the research results to the test. She headed out to a speeding hot spot along South Tampa’s busy Bayshore Boulevard.

Anthony Cozzolino regularly walks along Bayshore. Leslee asked him if he thinks speeding is bad. “In general, I think we all speed a little more than the limit is,” replied Anthony.

Anthony also said he thinks driving under the influence is even worse.

Leslee also spoke with Bayshore Blvd runner Gianna Rocco who said that she thinks speeding is wrong, but she does speed. Rocco also thinks driving under the influence ifs wrong, but she does not do that.

Then Leslee told Cozzolino and Rocco that research shows just as many people are dying from speeding as drunk driving. They both were surprised to hear that and thought that the number of DUI-related fatalities would be much higher than fatalities where speeding is a factor.

Then Leslee took out her Speed Buster gun and caught a driver speeding at 57 mph in the 40 mph zone along Bayshore Boulevard.

The NTSB points out there are national programs that focus on the risks of drunk driving. However, there is no such nationwide program to focus on the risks of speeding. Meanwhile, TPD said that Bayshore Boulevard is a top spot for speed patrolling and residents did say they often see police out patrolling.

If you have an issue with speeding in your neighborhood contact Leslee on her WFLA Facebook page and she may be able to bring Speed Busters to you.

Follow Leslee Lacey on Facebook

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