California Highway Patrol

Taking Advantage of Empty Highways? Think Again, Says CHP

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Some drivers are taking advantage of less traffic on the roads and law enforcement has a message for drivers out there.

The California Highway Patrol told NBC 7 it has been recording speeds over 100 mph on local highways.

Oceanside CHP officers said they are finding fewer vehicles but more speeders on the roads as many people stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are one of the speeders, CHP wants you to know the number of patrols has not changed and neither has their mission to keep people safe. They reiterated the brief respite from gridlock during rush hour is not a license to speed.

"They're letting their self-control maybe leave the cockpit of the car, and letting themselves get going to fast," CHP public information officer Mark Latulippe said.

One officer cited a driver on Monday for reportedly going 128 mph in a 70 mph zone.

"That is unacceptable. That is way too fast. We shouldn't be doing that," Latulippe said.

There was also little sympathy from fellow drivers with whom you could be sharing the road.

"If there are not a lot of cars on the road and you are taking advantage of that by going faster, you should be punished the same way," driver Whitney Orellana said.

Officer Latulippe wanted to remind drivers the coronavirus crisis comes with new responsibilities but the rules of the road haven't changed.

Also because there are fewer vehicles on the road, Oceanside CHP said car crashes are down 30 percent this month which makes the odds of getting caught speeding much higher.

"Our message is to take care of each other -- keeping your speed in check and keeping your driving habits in check," he said.

The price for driving 128 mph? It could be a $1,000 fine, a license suspension and points on your driving record.

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