Michigan State Police: It's Not OK To Speed On Empty Freeways Amid Pandemic

WWJ News
April 14, 2020 - 4:58 pm

(WWJ) For those metro Detroiters still on the roads during the virus crises — don't be tempted to speed. 

That message from Michigan State Police who are reporting that some drivers are taking advantage of the lack of traffic, ignoring speed limits and flying through construction zones. 

Just because the freeways are pretty much deserted these days, MSP First Lt. Mike Shaw said, that doesn't meant posted speeds are out the window.

If you do speed, he told WWJ Newsradio 950's Jason Scott, you will still get a ticket.

"The same excuses that we hear during the non-pandemic time are the same they give now," Shaw said. "And the big one is: I'm late for work."

Because they're not faced with the usual rush-hour crowds, Shaw said, sometimes drivers may not realize they're speeding. "I think sometimes people get out there and cars these days, they're not as bumpy...And next thing you know you look down and you're going a little bit too fast."

In an effort for troopers to avoid face-to-face contact with the public when possible, drivers may not be pulled over for going a couple of miles over the speed limit, or for other minor traffic infractions. 

However, Shaw said, that doesn't mean it's a free-for-all out there. "The same rules apply, you know. Pay attention to where you're going, keep that cell phone down, and you'll be able to get to where you gotta go," he said. "Because if you're out there, it means you're essential." 

Shaw said one thing MSP is concerned about is an uptick in speeding through construction zones; so watch out for that.

As for patrols, nothing has changed, Shaw said. The same number of troopers are on the roads today as they were before the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order was implemented.

Meanwhile, State Police continue to discourage joy riding in motorcycles or in cars with the "Stay Home" order in place. (More on this here). Regardless, police stress that they will not be pulling drivers over without cause to ask them where they're going.