State Police crack down on speeding, aggressive driving
Following Superintendent of State Police and Director of Public Safety Colonel Ann C. Assumpico ordering an immediate crackdown on speeding, aggressive driving and other motor vehicle violations on Monday, all state police and regular patrols are stepping up their enforcement. Additional patrols will be placed in different areas and police will be tracking the number of tickets and seatbelt violations, Laura Kirk, director of public information said Wednesday. A report on the results of the new crackdown is expected within the next few weeks.
The order comes after the State Police issued 6,839 seat belt violations and 16,904 speeding violations in 2016, 612 seat belt violations and 1,413 speeding violations in January 2017, and the deaths of six people in fatal crashes in recent days.
“Many of these fatalities resulted from excessive speed or failure to use seatbelts,” Assumpico stated. “Effective immediately, I have ordered all members of the Rhode Island State Police to aggressively enforce motor vehicle laws to help prevent such a needless and tragic loss of life.”
Colonel Assumpico said the crackdown stems from reports that six people were killed in five separate incidents:
Two Massachusetts men died Feb. 4 after being ejected from their car after it struck another car on Interstate 95 in Richmond;
A West Warwick teenager died Feb. 6 after he lost control of his car and it struck a tree on Route 102 in West Greenwich;
A Massachusetts man died Feb. 9 after he was partially ejected from his car when it struck the median on Interstate 95 in East Greenwich;
A pedestrian died on Feb. 11 after he was struck by a tractor-trailer truck on Route 146 in North Smithfield;
and a pedestrian died early Feb. 13 after being struck and killed by a hit-and-run motorist in Coventry.
So far this year, nine people have died as a result of motor vehicle crashes, including six motorists and three pedestrians. That’s more than double the number of fatalities in the same period last year, when two motorists and two pedestrians died as a result of motor vehicle incidents. A total of 53 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes last year, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Colonel Assumpico said she has ordered all troopers to increase enforcement of motor vehicle laws, and she has added additional patrols in South County, where most of the fatalities occurred.
“The Rhode Island State Police will do everything in its power to keep the roadways safe,” Colonel Assumpico said. “But we also need your help. Remember to follow the rules of the road, including obeying all traffic and safety laws, and if you see someone driving aggressively, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, call 911 immediately. If we all do our part, together we can save lives.”