Topeka, KS– Slow down. That’s the message the Kansas Department of Transportation is telling drivers this summer.
Sobering statistics tell the story of the dangers of speeding. In 2020, Kansas recorded almost 5,000 vehicle crashes due to drivers going too fast for the conditions. Nearly 80 people lost their lives in those crashes.
“We have a lead-foot problem in Kansas,” said Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz. “Speed kills, which is why our law enforcement agencies work so hard to enforce speed limits. Please slow down. Please abide by posted speed limits.”
The number of speeding citations issued on Kansas highways has been trending upward. The Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) reports issuing 1,758 tickets for speeding in 2019. In 2020 the number climbed to 2,823 and in 2021 was 3,309.
KDOT Traffic Safety Assistant Bureau Chief Chris Bortz said especially alarming is the rising
number of citations issued for speeds in excess of 100 m.p.h. The KHP issued 1,758 citations in 2019 for speeds of 100 m.p.h. or more. In 2020 the number of 100-plus citations climbed to 2,823 and in 2021 to 3,309.
Bortz said in the last decade, Kansas recorded 850 deaths and nearly 23,000 injuries related to speeding. He noted a high percentage of speed-related crashes involve younger drivers. Forty-five percent of all 2020 speed-related fatal crashes in Kansas were drivers between the ages of 15 and 29.
This summer, KDOT and Kansas law enforcement agencies are advancing a “Drive to Zero” public awareness campaign to shed light on the far-ranging consequences of driving too fast for the conditions. Besides the greater chance of losing control of the vehicle and not getting stopped in time, higher speeds also increase the possibility of motorists being severely injured or killed.
“Drive To Zero” will remind motorists that speeding is against the law. The campaign will encourage drivers to reduce speed when approaching an exit/entrance ramp, rounding a curve, driving in work zones or pulling a trailer and to be mindful about speeds in inclement weather and at night.
“Our goal is to save lives,” Bortz said. “Please join us in reminding all drivers to watch for and obey speed limit signs on our highways, in residential neighborhoods and on secondary roads.”
Kansas’ “Drive to Zero” campaign is funded by federal traffic safety funds administered by KDOT. For more information visit KansasDriveToZero.org.