BRECKSVILLE, Ohio (WJW)– A sharp increase in the number of drivers traveling at excessive speeds is prompting the city of Brecksville to consider increasing the penalties for speeding.
Drivers traveling on a busy stretch of Interstate 77 in Brecksville are encountering more speeders traveling at greater speeds.
“Oh, you have to drive so defensively because you think you’re driving the speed limit and it’s like, where are people going, they’re going all over,” said Brecksville resident Cathy Witt.
Brecksville police said it appears many drivers became accustomed to speeding as the pandemic unfolded and renewed enforcement along I-77 has done little to get lead-footed drivers to slow down.
“They’re seeing speeds routinely over 90 miles an hour and frequently 100 miles an hour. And they’re hearing some pretty good excuses, ‘It’s a new car or I didn’t realize going that fast.’ I don’t know how they can say that,” Chief Stan Korinek told FOX 8.
The excessive speeding trend is also evident on some city streets in Brecksville.
“We talked to the mayor this week and he goes to put a speed sign in front of our house because it’s really affecting. We’re afraid we’re going to get hit going out of our driveway, our own driveway,” Witt said.
In response to the sheer number of high speed violations, the Brecksville Law Department is asking city council to consider increasing the fines and potential jail time for excessive speeders, who currently face a fine of $150, no matter how fast they are going.
“It is a public safety issue because traffic deaths were up in 2020 and they’re up this year as well,” Korinek said.
Under the proposal, drivers caught traveling 20 miles an hour over the speed limit would face a fine of $250. Those caught traveling 30 miles over the speed limit would face a fine of $500 and potential jail time. The hope is that the threat of increased fines will serve as a deterrent.
“When you hit people in the pocket book, that’s when they start saying, ‘Well, maybe I shouldn’t speed’ and hopefully they’ll pay attention to he speed limits better,” Korinek said.