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Slow down, Nevada: ‘Alarming’ number of drivers cited for topping 100

How many people are cited for driving 100 mph or more each year in Nevada? Perhaps more than you’d think.

Most of the state’s lead-footed drivers who push the pedal to 100 mph and beyond are caught on Nevada’s highways.

Last year, the Nevada Highway Patrol issued tickets to 4,051 motorists (11 per day) in its jurisdiction for speeding at 100 mph or more, the state troopers reported.

That was a drop compared to the high of 4,559 tickets in 2021 (12 a day), but still a big increase compared to 2,421 (six a day) in 2020 and 2,612 (seven a day) in 2019.

So far this year as of April, 1,029 100 mph-plus drivers were nabbed by state troopers, or nine per day.

But that’s only part of it.

Statewide, including local police agencies reporting along with the highway patrol, 5,137 persons got tickets for going 100 mph or faster in 2021, and 4,415 in 2020, the latest months available for totals, according to 2022 report released by the Nevada Department of Transportation.

“An alarming trend in Nevada is that speeding-related citations for speeds at or above 100 miles per hour has been steadily increasing,” the transportation department report stated.

“This is almost a 50 percent increase in speed-related citations at or above 100 mph in a two-year period,” the report stated. “It is important to note that this is a trend that has been observed throughout the United States and is likely a result of the pandemic and more opportunities for speeding as roads were not as congested.”

Still, those 100-plus mph speeders represent a fraction of the state’s total of too-fast drivers.

Cops throughout Nevada issued an average of 175,000 citations for all levels of speeding per year from 2015 to 2019, 57 percent from Clark County, the most populous in the state, and 13 percent from Washoe, the next highest populated, the department reported.

During that period of years, Nevada had 454 fatal crashes related to speeding, or 31 percent of all fatal crashes, and nearly 60 percent of the speeding-related traffic accidents involved an impaired driver, meaning someone with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more, with drugs detected in their system, or both, according to the transportation department.

Interestingly, crashes involving excessive speed on high-speed roadways like freeways are more common but are actually less likely to result in death or serious injury than those on “principal arterial” and other more minor roads “where most of these crashes are intersection-related,” the report stated.

Troopers typically use radar-related technology to find out who’s speeding but they can also tell simply by seeing a fast car, according to Capt. James T. Simpson, a spokesman for Nevada State Police in Carson City.

Nevada law, prohibits motorists from traveling “a rate of speed greater than 80 miles per hour,” except for 85 mph on certain rural highways, and fines charged to violators “must not exceed $20 for each mile per hour a person travels above the posted speed limit or the proper rate of speed at which the person should be traveling.”

Fines levied to guilty drivers may range from $250 to $1,000 and a sentence of up to six months in jail, according to the law.

Simpson said that decisions on what to do with a 100-mph driver lie with the local courts in counties where the citations are issued, including the size of the fine and whether to prosecute the driver for misdemeanor reckless driving.

“Speed alone does not necessarily mean the driver will be cited for reckless driving,” he said. “We rely on statute to determine if the driver meets the statutory definition and if reckless driving is appropriate. Each court or jurisdiction is responsible to adjudicate each case individually which includes whether or not the driver license will be suspended.”

“We continue to remind motorists that every time they get behind the wheel, lives are in their hands,” he said. “Slow down, never drive impaired and remember that we all share the road.”

Contact Jeff Burbank at jburbank@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0382. Follow him @JeffBurbank2 on Twitter.

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