IIHS holds forum to figure out new ways of fighting speeding drivers

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GREENE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- IIHS and other highway safety agencies from across the country gathered in Greene County on Tuesday to figure out ways to get people to drive safely more often.

One of the main questions being asked and issues raised was that of combatting drivers speeding on the roads.

"How do we help drivers understand kind of a safety citizenship," asked Darren Grondel, of the Washington State Highway Commission.

However, that wasn't the only question or issue.

"That they have a responsibility for getting home safe and making sure others around them get home safe," said Grondel.

In general, fatality crashes have increased across the nation. In 2018, there were more than 35,000 deaths and about 10,000 of those were speed-related.

"We've got two problems here," said Charles Farmer, Vice President of Research at IIHS. "We're raising speed limits to really high levels and then people are always going to go above that."

During the discussions, members of IIHS and other road safety agencies worked on tackling the issue of speed through policy, enforcement, engineering and many other possibilities.

Grondel mentions that automated enforcement may be a good way of getting people to slow down.

There are other ideas floated around other than automated enforcement.

"What about infrastructural changes that you can do for traffic calming or road diets that could reduce speeds," asked Grondel.

He wants to put speed back on the radar by making going over the posted limit a priority and a concern for general traffic safety as well.

"When we walk away from here, we want to have a structure and an idea for a pilot study that we can actually begin implementing in several states or maybe even one state," he said.

Officials would then take those positive results and implement them around the country.

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