LITTLE ROCK — Law enforcement officers across Arkansas are set to begin a week-long concerted speed enforcement plan next week. The operation will be publicized across the state using a public message headline, “Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.”

The intensified enforcement plan involving both state and local departments will begin Monday, July 13th and continue through the following Sunday, July 19th. Additionally throughout the month of July, the Arkansas State Police will contribute patrol resources in a Regional Speed Enforcement Plan that targets speeding violators on particular selected days of the week. The participating states include Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

“Speeding is synonymous with tragedy and death on our roadways,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “It’s a proven fact, higher speeds significantly reduce a driver’s reaction time and ability to steer safely around other vehicles, roadway hazards, and unexpected highway exits or detours in highway construction zones.”

Drivers who ignore the speed limit put themselves, their passengers, and others at tremendous risk. During calendar year 2018, speeding was a contributing factor in 26 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. and 9,378 people lost their lives in the crashes, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In Arkansas 131 deaths were attributed to speed related crashes during 2018.

Already this year, Arkansas traffic fatalities are on the rise. According to preliminary NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting data, fatalities in speeding related crashes are increasing at an alarming rate. Through the end of June (2020) 84 people have died in speed related crashes, compared to 63 at the same time last year which equates to a 33 percent increase.

“Driving above the posted speed limit or speeding during inclement weather conditions dramatically increases the probability that a motorist will be involved in a crash,” Colonel Bryant said. “State troopers want to be sure the highways are safe and stopping speeding drivers is a top priority.”

The goal of these enforcement efforts is to save lives and make drivers aware that no excuses for speeding are acceptable. When it comes to speeding; Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine.

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