Dear Editor,

Freddie Howard
July 16, 2007
Murphy Candies, Jr.
July 18, 2007

Many drivers don’t ever think about the danger in which they place themselves and others when they disobey speed limits.

Drivers speed for a variety of reasons: they’re late; they’re impatient; or they just like the thrill of going fast. None of these are valid reasons. Safety experts estimate that speed is a factor in almost one-third of all fatal crashes.

As our summer driving season comes to a peak in July and August, law enforcement agencies across Louisiana are participating in the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission’s “Summer Heat” campaign designed to save lives and reduce injuries by getting drivers to slow down. As part of our campaign, the LHSC provides grants that allow police agencies to conduct special overtime patrols dedicated to enforcement of speed limits.

In our “Summer Heat” campaign last year, participating officers wrote more than 53,000 speeding tickets. Our anti-speeding campaign this year is supplemented by extensive television and billboard advertisements warning drivers that “The Heat is on!”

The ultimate goal of our campaign isn’t to see how many tickets can be written, but rather to save lives and reduce the number of injuries on our streets and highways.

Our “Summer Heat” campaign comes at a crucial part of the year when traffic increases as people celebrate the summer and families embark on vacations to out-of-town locations. We hope this campaign makes it safer for all of us to travel in vehicles, whether it’s going to a vacation destination, to and from work, or driving the kids to a sporting event.

We encourage all drivers to follow the spirit of the “Summer Heat” campaign by driving within the speed limit, regardless of whether you’re on an interstate highway or a neighborhood street. For those who insist on speeding, hundreds of law enforcement officers across the state will be out in force ready to write tickets. We hope that all drivers heed the warnings and slow down, rather than risking getting a costly ticket for the sake of saving a few minutes on a trip.

James E. Champagne

Executive Director, Louisiana Highway Safety Commission