The pandemic has led to another dangerous problem: Super-speeding drivers who are going way too fast on metro Atlanta highways.
“It puts us at a higher risk when we are trying to stop those people from speeding, endangering others -- but that’s what we train for,” said Georgia State Patrol Trooper Jarrad Gately.
Gately invited Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon to ride with him on Atlanta’s interstates to show what he has seen for months.
Just minutes into the ride-along on Interstate 20 east of downtown Atlanta, Gately began pulling over a driver going 94 mph. In less than hour into the driver, Gately pulled over five fifth super-speeders.
Georgia State Patrol believes there’s one big reason for the increase in super speeders.
“The pandemic completely changed Atlanta’s roadways, not particularly for the better,” Gately said. “With the reduced traffic, we have seen a notable increase in the speeds on those roadways.”
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Fewer cars leaves the roads wide open for drivers with a need for speed. Last year between March and July, GSP gave out almost 8,800 tickets to drivers going at least 24 mph over the speed limit.
But this year during those same months, GSP caught more than 10,000 super speeders even with fewer drivers on the highway.
“It’s extremely dangerous just not for that particular driver, but for the other ones,” Gately said.
Georgia law defines super speeders as anyone going 85 mph and above on any road or highway.
There is a super speeder fee of $200 in addition to other fines that vary by county. If the driver doesn’t pay the fine within 120 days, their license will be suspended.
Gately wants to do his part to slow them down before speeders cause more serious crashes.
“Please consider those other drivers and get to where you’re going but at a safe speed,” he said.