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Illinois State Police Have Ticketed Thousands For Driving 100 MPH Or Faster This Year

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Speedy drivers have been a particular problem for the Illinois State Police so far this year. Troopers across the state have issued nearly 2,500 tickets for drivers going 100 miles per hour or faster on Illinois roadways.

The department tweeted that startling stat on Tuesday, saying troopers have handed 2,492 tickets out to particularly speedy drivers since January. Spokeswoman Mindy Carroll said that’s actually down slightly from last year, when troopers had written at least 100 more than that.

"They [the numbers] are still dangerously high," she explained. "I was not surprised that the public would be alarmed by them.”

Carroll, who is a state trooper herself, said it’s dangerous for everyone on the road if someone drives that fast.

“You could have a pipe or anything in the road that could blow a tire, and if you blow your tire and you’re going 100 miles an hour, you’re very likely not going to be able to control that vehicle," she said.

It would take an average car going 100 miles per hour at least twelve seconds and the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop. Carroll said that’s time and space most drivers don’t have.

“I don’t think people realize the severity of those consequences if something were to happen."

Carroll says she’s been called to accident scenes where someone lost control of a speeding vehicle and ended up dying from their injuries.

“Those are things that we don’t forget,” she said. “I wonder if the motoring public had to put themselves in that position, if that would change their minds.”

Illinois state police have also been clamping down on those who don’t move over for emergency vehicles, as more than two dozen troopers have been struck by vehicles this year. Four state troopers have died in the line of duty so far this year.

Carroll said the Illinois State Police will be stepping up enforcement heading into the holiday season, and will continue to educate the public about reckless driving. The department encourages anyone who sees a driver going excessively fast to report it to 911.

Sam is a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working out the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.
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