Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer » Blog » A Nevada Crash Shines Light on Systemic Issue of Speeding and Possible Traffic Safety Improvements

A Nevada Crash Shines Light on Systemic Issue of Speeding and Possible Traffic Safety Improvements

In November the National Transportation Safety Board held a hearing on combatting excessive speeding, and an early 2022 crash in Las Vegas was the center of discussion. In late January 2022 a driver of a Dodge Challenger with a long record of speeding ran a red light at more than one-hundred miles per hour in North Las Vegas. The driver slammed into a minivan, killing both himself and eight others. This isn’t the first time a driver with a long history of traffic violations has been involved in a fatal traffic accident.

Federal investigators are now calling out “systemic deficiencies” with court-information sharing in Nevada as a primary factor in the driver getting back on the road despite his many prior violations. The driver, Gary Robinson, had both cocaine and PCP in his system and NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy stated that in the seventeen months preceding the crash, Nevada law enforcement agencies issued speeding citations to the driver five times. [1]

So why wasn’t Robinson’s license revoked? Records show that many of these violations involved several agencies as well as jurisdictions, and when being stopped each time his prior violations were not readily accessible to the officer in a neighboring jurisdiction. Additionally, despite traveling between eleven and twenty miles over the speed limit, Robinson was able to plead down to a parking violation and these violations were no longer visible to courts after being pleaded down.

Federal investigators and the NTSB are now calling for automakers to manufacture vehicles which warn drivers when they are speeding; it is asking safety regulators to figure out how states can electronically limit speeds on vehicles driven by repeat traffic offenders.[2]

Speed Regulating Devices in the United States

According to the National Safety Council, more than ten thousand people die annually in accidents where speed is considered the major factor. Additionally, since the pandemic, instances of reckless driving and high-speed fatal accidents has continued to climb. Fortunately, there is technology that can help with speeding—speed regulating devices called Speed Governors or speed limiters. These devices prevent vehicle’s speed from exceeding a certain threshold, and some even use GPS technology to align with a certain roadway’s speed limit. While cars currently sold in the United States do have speed governors, many are set very high, and many only kick in at 155 miles per hour—well above eighty-five miles per hour, the highest speed limit in the country. Even if speed governors were not enacted on all vehicles, it would make sense to install them on the vehicles of those who have been issued repeat speeding violations, like how drunk drivers are often ordered to use ignition interlock devices. [3]

Speed governors being enacted into law for a means of transportation isn’t completely new in the United States either, and in Los Angeles, e-scooters which are about 1/20th as heavy as cars are required to have speed governors set to fifteen miles per hour. This law was passed in the hopes that a lower speed allowance on the vehicle would curb the number of scooters riding on the road instead of the sidewalk—thus decreasing the number of scooters and car fatalities. [4]

How Else Can Speeding Be Decreased on the Roads?

Whether you realize it or not our roads are equipped with certain traffic calming techniques to help motorists reduce their speed while driving. Some of these common techniques include:

  • Medians
  • Lane shifts
  • Speed bumps
  • Roundabouts
  • Trees lining the street
  • On-street Parking
  • Narrow Profile Two Way Streets
  • Signal Progression Through a Traffic-Heavy Corridor [5]

As trivial or inconvenient as these simple techniques may seem to the everyday commuter, The American Journal of Public Health has found that children living within a block of a speed bump have a significantly reduced chance of being hit by a vehicle [6].

Ultimately, reducing speed while on the road is up to drivers. The posted speed limits in an area have been chosen for a reason and represent the safest speed to travel based on the conditions of the roadway. It is important for Nevadans to remember that the speed limit is the law, not a suggestion, and simply following it can save countless lives.








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