CHP officers say less traffic is leading to more speeding drivers during coronavirus pandemic

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Posted at 4:58 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 20:41:10-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - With more people urged to stay at home there is less traffic on the roadways resulting in more speeding drivers.

That's according to California Highway Patrol officers in the North County.

"We're seeing speeds of 100 miles per hour, triple digits and it's just unacceptable," said Mark Latulippe with CHP Oceanside. "The highest I’ve seen is 110 miles per hour. I've had numerous in the hundreds, 101, 107, 105."

In the last couple of weeks, CHP officers have handed out a number of speeding tickets on Intersate 5, 15 and State Route 76.

Latulippe said officers noticed the increase in speeds once social distancing and stay and home orders went into effect.
He thinks the spike could be attributed to people thinking officers must keep their distance, so speeding drivers can't be stopped.

"We are not going away and we still have our jobs to do," he said. "Part of social distancing is you driving safely so I'm not forced to stop you."
He said when officers must stop drivers during this coronavirus pandemic, they are take extra safety precautions when doing so.

"We are trying to limit exposure," he said. "The officers are even maybe using gloves or sanitizing their hands before coming up to you."

Latulippe said officers have also noticed a decrease in car crashes, which has resulted in more officers paying attention to speed.

"Since there's less traffic our crashes have gone down, those same officers that were out there, that number hasn't changed so now your odds of getting the tickets is more," he said.

Drivers caught going over 100 miles per hour could face hefty fines, extra points on their driving record and even the possibility of a temporarily suspended license.

"We are still out here, we are still providing services, if you're involved in a crash we're still going to be there and help you, if you're stopped on the side of the road we're going to be there to help you," said Latulippe. "We have your back, but please have our back by maybe slowing down a bit."