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Howard County police report increased speeds, aggressive driving amid coronavirus pandemic

With fewer cars on the road due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Howard County Police Department announced Friday its increased focus on speeding.

Incidents of excessive speeding in Howard County have increased in the past few weeks, according to a county police news release.

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“With fewer cars on the road as a result of the state’s stay-at-home order, some drivers seem to have mistakenly assumed that traveling at high rates of speed would be an acceptable practice,” Police Chief Lisa Myers said in a statement. “We are receiving higher-than-usual complaints about speeding, and officers have observed vehicles traveling much faster than the posted speed limits.”

According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, traffic volume across the state is down 45%. However, the MVA said the drop in traffic amid the pandemic has led to a surge in excessive speeding.

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From March 16 to April 17, 69% of speeding citations issued statewide were for violations at least 20 mph over the speed limit or higher. The MVA also said there were more than 375 citations given for speeds of 90 mph or more.

The Howard County Police Department said its focus will be serious traffic safety violations, including excessive speeding and driving under the influence.

“With more residents walking, running and cycling to exercise outdoors, motorists must adhere to speed limits and traffic safety,” County Executive Calvin Ball said in a statement.

According to police, officers are wearing personal protective equipment on every traffic stop including masks, gloves and protective eyewear. Howard County police are asking drivers to also wear masks if they interact with police.

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