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Troopers say open roads have led to a need for speed across the Tampa Bay area

Florida Highway Patrol is writing more tickets for speeders taking advantage of less congested roadways.

TAMPA, Fla. — Your car may not be getting the miles it used to before the COVID-19 pandemic started and that's been good for reducing the number of car crashes in the Tampa Bay area.

Troop C of the Florida Highway Patrol reports that in April of this year, there were 990 car crashes. Eight of those were deadly and in 327 of those crashes, someone was injured. 

In April of 2019 there were 2,907 car crashes. In 17 of those crashes, someone died and in 883 crashes, someone was hurt. That means year to year, nearly there were nearly 2,000 fewer car crashes in just a one month span. Troop C responded to these crashes in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sumter counties.

While there's been a dramatic drop in the number of car crashes as people work from home, students learn from home and practice social distancing, there's been a rise in the number of tickets FHP has been writing for speeders.

From January through April of 2019, FHP officers wrote 610 tickets for people driving 30 miles over the posted speed limit. They wrote 233 tickets for people driving over 100 miles per hour.

For the same month period this year, FHP has written 746 tickets for people driving 30 miles over the posted speed limit and 347 tickets for people driving more than 100 miles an hour. 

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's office said since deputies have been spending less time responding to crashes, they've been able to spend more time educating the community about social distancing and COVID-19.

So as you head back out onto the roads, make sure you're being cautious.

"It's going to look a lot like back to school traffic," said Amanda Granit, Public Information Officer for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. 

  • Since it's summer, look out for kids playing in the streets and driveways
  • Look out for new traffic signals or signs on your drive
  • Keep an eye out for new construction projects
  • Allow yourself more time to get to your destination in the first few weeks of restarting your commute
  • Keep distractions to a minimum
  • Make sure your car has been looked over for any maintenance issues that may have come up

RELATED: Working from home might save you money and time

RELATED: Less driving, fewer crashes should bring cheaper insurance

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