More Michigan police on roads, highways this winter as fatal crashes rise

The Michigan State Police is issuing a warning for drivers: slow down and get where you're going alive. Or, at the very least, get where you're going without a speeding ticket.

Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) announced on Tuesday, Nov. 30, that there would be 100 more local, county, and state police on the road over the next three months.

Starting on Wednesday, Dec. 1, the OHSP said the additional officers would be focusing predominantly on speeding through Feb. 28, 2022. On average, a speeding violation will cost between $115 and $135.

The enhanced police presence comes after Michigan reported a 22% reduction in traffic crashes in 2020 compared to 2019 but a 10% increase in fatalities in traffic crashes.

In 2019, 985 people were killed on the road in 314,377 crashes. Last year, almost 100 more people were killed: 1,083 died in 245,432.

Of those, 200 deaths were speed-related in 2020 compared to 185 in 2019.

"Despite the fact there have been less miles traveled, the fatality rate rose. And crash data shows that speed may have been a factor in many of these preventable crashes," said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. "It’s no secret the faster you drive, the greater your risk of dying in a crash. We hope increased enforcement over the coming months will help change these dangerous driving behaviors and save lives."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says a crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 mph or greater is more than twice as likely to result in a fatality than a crash on a road with a speed limit of 45 or 50 mph.

According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, in Michigan during 2020:

  • Of male drivers involved in all traffic crashes, 6.4 percent were speeding.
  • 15.2 percent of motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes were speeding.
  • 11.2 percent of drivers aged 15 to 20 involved in crashes (4,650 out of 41,685) were speeding.
  • Out of all drivers who were drinking in crashes, 15.1 percent were speeding.