Traffic is Down But Speeding & Dangerous Driving is Up

A recent analysis by smart and safe transportation mobility provider Verra Mobility has identified very troubling trends on U.S. roadways. Despite fewer vehicles on the roads, the average speed and number of citations for speeding and red-light running has increased during the shelter-in-place policies enacted in many cities and states nationwide. These dangerous behaviors are creating havoc on roadways in many U.S. cities. As the nation prepares for Memorial Day weekend—historically, one of the biggest travel weekends of the year—Verra Mobility wants to remind drivers to travel safely.

Topline Takeaways:

  • Speeding and red-light running are up despite there being significantly less cars on the road as a result of the pandemic.
  • Those speeding are also traveling at significantly higher rates of speed, with a large increase of drivers exceeding legal speed limits by more than 20 MPH.


Despite a 45 percent decrease in traffic volume at more than 4,000 monitored red-light and speed locations, Verra Mobility has seen a 16 percent increase in violation speeds. Likewise, the number of speed citations issued since the pandemic started has also increased by more than 10 percent. With fewer vehicles on the road, drivers are driving more recklessly with sometimes deadly consequences.

The most dangerous situations often arise from vehicles traveling in excess of 20 MPH over the posted speed limit. The number of violations for this category have increased by nearly 40 percent when comparing violations issued in April 2020 to April 2019. During that same time period the number of vehicles, which are very closely linked to the number of people, cited for traveling in excess of 20 MPH over the posted speed limit has increased by nearly 240 percent from 4,000 to 16,000. While road safety cameras cannot prevent drivers from breaking the law, they have been proven to change driver behavior.

In several cities, local media have reported that there have been significant decreases in the number of traffic stops, likely as officers aim to reduce possible COVID-19 exposure. Red-light and speed safety cameras have enabled municipalities across the country to continue to enforce traffic laws while reducing the inherent risks of person to person contact. During the current crisis, reducing preventable serious medical injuries resulting from car accidents is critical to lessening the burden on emergency department personnel in hospitals and medical centers.

“The public should be alarmed by the significant increases in dangerous driving behaviors we’ve seen in cities across the United States. Our hope is that by raising awareness, we can help prevent future driving related crashes, injuries and fatalities during an already deeply challenging time for all of us, including our police and first responders,” said Verra Mobility Executive Vice President Garrett Miller.

Miller continued, “And with Memorial Day approaching, it’s critical that all of us make smart choices on the road, especially now. We’ve grown used to open roads and there may be more traffic than we’ve been accustomed to in the past eight weeks. We encourage everyone to drive safely and enjoy the unofficial start of summer with their friends and families.”

About Verra Mobility

Verra Mobility is comitted to developing and using the latest in technology and data intelligence to help make transportation safer and easier. As a global company, Verra Mobility sits at the center of the mobility ecosystem – one that brings together vehicles, devices, information, and people to solve the most complex challenges faced by our customers and the constituencies they serve.

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