WSP notices increase in reckless drivers, many going nearly double the speed limit

SPOKANE, Wash. — Less drivers are on the road with the governor’s stay home order, but troopers have been finding some drivers going over the speed limit.

Recently, a Spokane trooper pulled over a driver on I-90 for going 112 mph in a 60. They were arrested for reckless driving — a misdemeanor. It could mean a year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines. While troopers say this is an extreme ending, it’s the reality of what they’re seeing.

“We saw them prior to the pandemic,” said Trooper Jeff Sevigney. “They’ve become a little more prevalent as there’s less traffic out on the roadways.”

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Sevigney said these drivers are across the seven counties his district covers, but they’re also in unusual areas.

“More surprising that it’s happening in the urban areas, as well,” he said.

They usually see the speeders in rural areas, but have caught some in downtown Spokane.

As far as a ticket — it can cost quite a bit. Sevigney said he stopped a driver the other day going 23 mph over the limit. The fine was $313.

“We would rather not have to write anybody a ticket, especially — we understand the financial hardships people are going through right now, so our ultimate goal is to not have to write anybody a ticket,” he said.

His message — they can’t be having reckless drivers out on the roadways.

“We know that the risk that you put yourself and to the other drivers out on the roadway is extreme and if you crash at those speeds, the likelihood of you surviving are low,” Sevigney explained. “And the bottom line there is there’s no excuse for doing 52 mph over the posted speed limit.”

If you see a reckless driver or an impaired one, Sevigney said to call 911.

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