Since the stay-at-home order was issued by the governor, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of greater Cook County residents have stayed at home. The result of this has been light traffic, but speeding and excessive speeding has been very noticeable by the general public and law enforcement.
With people still venturing out to supermarkets and to help elderly relatives, some motorists are succumbing to the temptations of wide-open roadways and are speeding recklessly on a regular basis. It doesn’t take a police officer to figure that out; anyone who is still driving to and from work for their job as an essential worker or is driving to the supermarket or a relative’s home can see it every day.
Riverside Police Chief, Thomas Weitzel said “The increase in speed in the eerily empty streets is troubling. The pedal-to-the-metal driving comes at the same time that restless residents are walking and cycling more, sometimes crisscrossing streets multiple times to avoid passing closer to one another. What I implore of motorists is that they slow down, respect the rules of the road, and recognize that pedestrian traffic has increased - there are many more walkers and cyclists out there these days."
The Riverside Police Chief instructed his officers to stop motorists who are driving recklessly or excessively speeding. This comes at a time when officers are trying to have less contact with the public during the coronavirus pandemic.
Chief Weitzel stated, "I urge motorists to slow down, keep a greater distance between cars, and simply obey the speed limits."
Weitzel stated, citing a recent crash where a pickup truck went into the Des Plaines River, while there may be other contributing factors still under investigation, there is no dispute that speed was a major contributing factor.
Again, please slow down.