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MSP: Operation Safe Driver Week comes as more drivers speed in pandemic

Mid-Michigan Traffic, Operation Safe Driver Week
Mid-Michigan Traffic, Operation Safe Driver Week(WJRT)
Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 12:38 PM EDT
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MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) - The coronavirus slowed down the economy, but not Mid-Michigan drivers.

State Police said ‘Operation Safe Driver Week’ was observed as law enforcement saw an uptick in speeding drivers.

It described the July 12-18 campaign as an effort to ‘engage in increased traffic enforcement aimed at unsafe driving behaviors by commercial motor vehicle and passenger-vehicle drivers.'

State Police Lt. Dave Kaiser says troopers were closely watching the trend.

“There has been quite a drastic increase in speeding violations, with less traffic on the roadways.”

Jeremy Rainey of Owosso saw the problem all too much.

“Going through construction zones, people are going really fast... I work on the side of the road, they don’t even know we are there.”

Rene Alegria was in Mid-Michigan from Houston, Texas on a work assignment. He said he obeyed the speed limit while watching many drivers fly past him.

“(They are going) 80, maybe 85. If you are (going) 75, a lot of people, they just tail you and then they just go around you.”

And with fewer cars on the road, troopers were also noticing an increase in distracted driving.

“Drivers that years ago, I would have thought were drinking and driving or under the influence... now what I find out is as I get next to the vehicles that the driver is actually on a cell phone,” said Kaiser.

He said the goal of ‘Operation Safe Driver Week’ was to educate drivers while watching for problems on the road.

“We’re going to be targeting aggressive drivers, distracted drivers, speeding drivers, and drugged and drunk drivers.”

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