HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Hillsborough County leaders say if drivers can slow down, we can save lives.
The Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization is sponsoring a study of speed management and safety, focusing on severe crash corridors in Hillsborough County and what measures are needed and most effective to get drivers to stop speeding.
With the concerning numbers of people hurt and killed on the roadways in Hillsborough County, several approaches will be needed to see a reduction in these numbers, according to county documents proposing the study. Through Vision Zero, there is an acknowledgement that speed plays a significant role in avoiding a crash altogether or at least surviving one, it reads.
On average, one person is dying on Hillsborough streets every day, according to the Hillsborough County MPO.
Reliable data helps point to the most dangerous roadways, causes of crashes and the most effective technologies and treatments. The data can also be used to determine the appropriate speed and effective roadway design. That along with automated technology and enforcement can set the stage for seeing a significant reduction in injuries and death, agenda documents read.
In a presentation to county leaders, transportation officials revealed several troubling statistics. County leaders say in deadly crashes, 75 percent occur on roads with posted speeds +40 mph and that 75 percent of fatal & serious injury crashes occur on one-third of our roads.
Officials also report 33 percent of fatal crashes involve aggressive driving.
Speeding kills more than 10,000 people a year and is on par with drunk driving across the county, but is doesn't carry the same social consequences, according to the Hillsborough MPO.
Many measures that will be considered help lower the speed limit naturally, including speed humps, narrowing lanes, adding on-street parking and even adding plants and trees.
County leaders are also looking at how more enforcement, like more law enforcement officers on the roads, higher fines for speeding tickets and more red light cameras could affect the tendency for drivers to speed.
They are also planning on assessing digital signs placed along roadways letting drivers know how fast they are going.