Some criminal offenses obviously do harm to others. Robbery deprives one person of possessions and can also produce emotional trauma for the victim. Drug possession, on the other hand, while illegal, often does no direct harm to other individuals beyond the person hurting their body with dangerous substances.
In the eyes of some people, that makes the possession offense a so-called victimless crime. Quite a few people also think of speeding as a victimless crime. After all, they are the ones who have to trust in their own driving capability and who might wind up hurt if they get in a crash because they go too fast for road conditions.
However, speeding is not necessarily a victimless crime. If a driver going too fast causes a collision, the people in the other car could wind up hurt or even dying as a result.
Speeding causes thousands of fatal crashes each year
While some people think that speeding offenses are only a priority for law enforcement because writing tickets helps generate income for police departments, the truth is that stopping people from speeding may prevent fatal crashes. It’s the same reason that officers are often proactive about deterring drunk driving.
People going too fast for current road conditions cause crashes and claim lives every day in the United States. In 2018, the most recent year that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had statistics available, speeding caused 9,378 deaths.
Driving too fast opens a person up to liability
Speeding means exceeding the posted speed limit for an area. It also means going too fast for the current road conditions, even if that speed was at or under the posted speed limit.
If an officer determines that one of the people involved in a crash exceeded the speed limit, especially if it is clear that their actions directly caused the collision, it is likely that the officer will cite that individual and indicate in the police report that they are responsible for the collision. A determination of fault can impact someone’s insurance rates and even lead to financial consequences.
Those who get hurt by someone speeding, as well as those who lose a loved one due to excessive speed or unsafe driving, may be able to bring a claim against the driver whose irresponsible behavior caused the crash.