Toledo Car Accident Lawyer Calls for Enforcement, Education To Combat Speeding Crashes

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Citing a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, attorney Jonathan M. Ashton of Toledo’s Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A., says speeding accidents could be reduced through campaigns such as those used to curb drunk driving.

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Toledo car accident lawyer Jonathan M. Ashton

What’s clear is that some type of action is required. We can’t continue to see so many accidents, injuries and deaths caused by speeding.

Stepping up law enforcement and public awareness campaigns have worked at reducing drunk driving. It’s time to use similar campaigns to combat speeding, too, Toledo car accident lawyer Jonathan M. Ashton said today.

According to a recently released Governors Highway Safety Association report, progress occurred during the last 30 years in “nearly every other area of highway safety” except for speeding. Driving at excessive speed continues to cause roughly a third of U.S. traffic deaths.

“By cracking down on speeders and raising public awareness about the dangers of speeding, I think we could see the same progress that’s been achieved with fighting drunk driving,” said Ashton of the Toledo personal injury firm of Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A.

The firm represents car accident victims throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.

“What’s clear is that some type of action is required. We can’t continue to see so many accidents, injuries and deaths caused by speeding,” he said.

Speeding in the U.S. and Puerto Rico accounted for 31 percent of all traffic deaths in 2010, the GHSA said. That figure represents a 7 percent increase since 2000. During that same time span, fatal auto crashes caused by drunk driving fell by 3 percent.

The GHSA said that seven states, including Ohio, have increased maximum speed limits. The states raised these limits “despite research showing that an increase in traffic deaths was attributable to raised speed limits on all road types after the 1995 repeal of [55 mph] federal speed limits,” the GHSA said. Ohio’s top speed limit is 70 mph.

The GHSA report recommends that each state:

  •     Explore addressing speeding through enforcement to combat aggressive driving. The public considers aggressive driving a more serious threat to safety.
  •     Enforce speeding laws more closely in school and work zones. This approach generally has more public support and is largely non-controversial.

The GHSA also said that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) should sponsor a high-visibility enforcement campaign and support public awareness efforts to address speeding and aggressive driving.
“The Ohio legislature should consider aggressive driving regulations like other states have adopted, and look at how the NHTSA can help with educational efforts here,” Ashton said. “Meanwhile, local and state law enforcement organizations should increase their vigilance at work and school zones.

Other states have laws that specify a misdemeanor charge of aggressive driving for any three of the following: Following too closely, unsafe operation, passing on the right off of the roadway, unsafe stopping or slowing, unnecessary sounding of the horn, failure to yield, failure to obey traffic control device, speeding or repeatedly flashing headlights.

Ohio has no aggressive driving law. The state doubles normal speeding fines for driving faster than the posted speed in a work zone during work hours. State law also calls for drivers to obey the instructions of school crossing guards at school zones.

Ashton said that individuals injured in car accidents caused by speeding should take steps to hold reckless drivers accountable and to secure the compensation they deserve for their losses.

“We can all work to reduce the number of accidents, injuries and deaths by following rules and regulations and by looking out for the other guy as well as ourselves,” Ashton said.

“When a driver doesn’t act responsibly, and it results in injury or death, those who are harmed have rights that should be protected,” he added. “Anyone injured in a car crash needs an experienced advocate on their side.”

About Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A.Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A., is a full service Toledo law firm that represents working men and women, individuals with disabilities and labor unions throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. This includes the communities of Toledo, Findlay, Bowling Green, Northwood, Oregon, Perrysburg, Sylvania, Lima, Defiance, Fremont, Sandusky and Waterville. In addition to a general practice, the firm assists clients in personal injury, workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, labor and bankruptcy cases. The firm’s personal injury areas include construction injuries, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, slip-and-falls, farming injuries, defective products, medical malpractice and nursing home injuries. For more information, call Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. at (800) 352-1976 or use its online form.

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