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Speeding Common Among Florida Police Officers

Oldham & Smith Sept. 6, 2018

Speeding is a common cause of car accidents. A recently concluded investigation has revealed that speeding is fairly common among Florida law enforcement officers, even though they are in charge of enforcing the state’s speed limits.

The investigation, conducted under the auspices of a Florida newspaper, concluded that almost 800 officers from a dozen Florida police agencies drove their vehicles at speeds ranging from 90 to 130 miles per hour on Florida highways in one year alone. In some instances, the newspaper claimed, officers traveling at such speeds were not responding to a dire emergency, but merely going to or from work.

In the six years the investigation was done, ending in 2010, no fewer than 230 speeding officers were involved in car accidents. These crashes resulted in 21 individuals being either hurt or killed, with a number of them being officers. According to CBS News, a national report by the Department of Transportation issued last year indicated that there had been a 44 percent hike in the death of police officers in vehicle crashes since the beginning of the century. It was not clear how many of those deaths were attributable to police speeding.

An ordinary motorist involved in a high speed vehicle crash has a 55 percent likelihood of being written a speeding citation. Police officers who are responsible for such high speed accidents are treated far more leniently, according to statistics, which show that only 12 percent of them receive speeding tickets.

In a 2008 accident close to Orlando, a police officer driving over 100 miles per hour rear-ended a car so hard that it was thrown forward 250 feet. The impact rendered a 23-year-old man in that vehicle paralyzed and brain dead from his injuries, and led to a $2 million settlement.

Source: CBS News, “Extreme police speeding investigated in Florida,” Mark Strassman, March 20, 2012