St. Joseph County to bolster speed enforcement efforts with rise in speed-related deaths

The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department announced it will conduct overtime speed enforcement beginning on December 1, continuing through the end of February 2023. The initiative, which is also being deployed by the Michigan State Police and a number of municipalities statewide, hopes to curve a recent spike in speed-related fatalities.

According to data provided by the county, 237 speed-related deaths were reported on Michigan roadways in 2021, an increase of 18.5 percent over the previous year. In 2020, 11,258 of fatal crashes nationwide included one or more drivers speeding, an 18 percent increase compared to 2019.

Sheriff Mark Lillywhite is urging drivers to slow down and obey posted speed limits, as local roads have proven more dangerous than highways for speeders, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2020, 87 percent of all speeding-related traffic deaths occurred on non-interstate roadways.

Alek Haak-Frost is executive editor and publisher of Watershed Voice.