Public safety officials urge drivers to slow down on Michigan roads

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan’s roads have been deadlier this year despite there being fewer cars on the road due to the pandemic.

According to Michigan State Police 873 people have died on state roadways this year.

Compared to this time last year, that’s an increase of 37 more deaths. Experts aren’t sure what’s causing the rise, but say speeding is part of the problem.

Last week 18 people were added to that list. Two of them were 23 year old construction workers from Lansing. They died after being hit on eastbound I-94 near Ypsilanti.

A 29-year-old woman from Belleville was arrested and now facing two criminal counts of operating while intoxicated causing death.

This week is national traffic incident response awareness week. Tt’s one of many efforts going o, with the goal of raising awareness about road safety especially when it comes to first responders and others working on the roads.

Traffic incident management action team co-chair, Rod Tennant, says it’s important to stay alert while driving.

“The responders out there are family and friends,” Tennant said. “They’re husbands and wives. they’re parents and kids. And they’d like to go home at night and be with everybody. They’re called to help because they care about their fellow people.”

He adds that of the 314,376 crashes in Michigan last year, there were 4,150 secondary crashes. That is over 11 secondary crashes per day. He says accidents that affect first responders who are on scene, helping others, takes resources that are needed away.

Tennant says slowing down, moving over, and driving safe around incidents and first responders can save lives.

Michigan’s Move Over Law requires motorists to slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit and move over whenever possible. The law applies to stationary emergency vehicles with flashing lights activated, including roadside tow trucks and courtesy vehicles operated by MDOT.

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