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Coronavirus leaves streets empty but invites speeders

New statistics show those who are still on the roads are going faster than before -- way faster.

Speeding car Royalty Free
Don't speed. Just don't.
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All across the US, city streets are nearly free from congestion and freeways have just dotted areas of traffic as motorists stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Those still traveling on the roads are taking advantage of the wide open spaces. Reuters compiled new data and in a Wednesday report showed speeders are taking to the streets more than ever before. And it's not just in the US, but in Europe, too.

Local police in Los Angeles said they've clocked drivers going 100 mph on empty city streets. New York reported speed cameras issued 60% more citations in March year-over-year. Speeding tickets increased by 20% in Washington, DC. Everywhere, drivers are seeing less traffic and opening up the throttle.

Data from transportation analyst Inrix showed the average speed on US highways in the five largest metro areas increased as much as 75% from January to February. The 75% increase came in the LA area, but even in places like Detroit, the average speed rose by 22%.

While drivers may believe fewer cars on the road makes it safer for them to speed, the data doesn't exactly back up that theory. Reuters cited data from the Los Angeles Police Department that showed severe collisions didn't see a big drop in March. Meanwhile, less severe crashes declined, as did fatalities. 

So, no, a global pandemic isn't an excuse to floor it down public roads.

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