As I-94 Crashes Rise, MSP Crackdown On Dangerous Driving

Michigan State Police have announced a crackdown on dangerous driving along I-94.

Motorists can expect to see more Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers patrolling I-94 this spring and summer, from the Indiana border to Wayne County. I-94 is the major thoroughfare between Detroit and Chicago and is used by many area residents for their daily commutes. Traffic increases in the summer as motorists use the route to get to Michigan’s vacation destinations.

With traffic crashes increasing again in 2017, troopers will be actively addressing the driving behaviors most associated with traffic crashes. These behaviors include distracted and aggressive driving, following too closely, improper lane use and excessive speed.

“Motorists can expect troopers to take a zero tolerance approach to these dangerous driving behaviors,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “Most crashes are preventable, and the dangerous behaviors we see on I-94 need to change. Now is the time to send the message that these dangerous driving behaviors will not be tolerated. Hopefully we can make I-94 much safer this summer.”

Crashes on I-94 increased by 7 percent in 2017, from 6,010 crashes in 2016 to 6,453 crashes. Commercial vehicle-involved crashes on I-94 also increased, rising from 774 crashes in 2016 to 856 crashes in 2017 – an increase of 10 percent.

Statewide, traffic crashes rose by 1 percent, from 312,171 crashes in 2016 to 314,921 crashes in 2017.

In total, troopers conducted 460,446 traffic stops statewide in 2017, resulting in 133,293 citations and 358,400 verbal warnings.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver inattention is the  leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes. Driving is a visual task and non-driving activities that draw the driver’s eyes away from the roadway should always be avoided.

There are three main types of distraction:

  • Visual – taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive – taking your mind off of what you’re doing

Distracting activities include:

  • Using a cell phone and/or texting
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a PDA or navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Changing the radio station, CD, or MP3 player.

Michigan law prohibits texting while driving.  For a first offense, motorists are fined $100.  Subsequent offenses cost $200.

Last year, MSP launched “Operation Ghostrider” in which officers ride in unmarked cars looking for drivers breaking the law.

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