The California Highway Patrol (CHP) says it has issued 87-percent more citations for speeding since California's stay-at-home order began.
From March 19 — when Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the shelter-at-home executive order — to April 19, CHP has cited 2,493 drivers statewide for speeding more than 100 mph, as compared to 1,335 during the same period last year, according to a press release sent to KSBY.
San Luis Obispo County CHP are also seeing the increase.
"The less traffic just comes greater speeds. We've been seeing vehicles in excess of over-hundred miles-per-hour, I would say; I hear someone on the radio at least once a day that's going out with a vehicle that's going over-hundred miles-per-hour,," said CHP San Luis Obispo officer Alvarez.
San Luis Obispo County CHP says they're also seeing an increase in reckless driving.
"We definitely get phone calls and 9-1-1 callers advising us of people that trying to pass even the light traffic that there is, trying to pass on the shoulder or even driving in the median," said Alvarez.
This spike in citations occurred as Caltrans has measured an average decline in traffic volume on state roads of nearly 35 percent as compared to this time last year, said CHP officials.
“Excessive speed and unsafe driving threaten everyone using our highway system,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “Viewing less congested roads as an invitation to drive dangerously jeopardizes the safety of construction and maintenance crews who are working to maintain reliable access to our highways when people need it most.”
“Fewer cars on the road doesn’t give drivers the green light to travel over the speed limit,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “Driving at a safe speed when you must go out is one way to keep you and your family safe during this pandemic.”
CHP officials say the state’s “Move Over” law continues to be in effect, requiring all drivers to move over a lane or, if unable to do so safely, slow down when they see amber flashing lights on Caltrans vehicles, law enforcement and emergency vehicles and tow trucks.