Slow down, Buckle up, Arrive alive
Speeding is defined as "exceeding the posted speed limit, driving too fast for conditions, or racing." Speeding is common and can be dangerous on all types of roads. Speed continues to be a contributing factor in many roadway fatalities in Vermont. Vermont law enforcement officers utilize a combination of speed enforcement strategies to support established speed limits, manage speed and reduce fatalities and injuries and help promote seat belt use.
Aggressive driving is more than just speeding, it's a whole series of traffic violations including tailgating, failing to yield the right of way when turning or merging, running stop signs and red lights, and making unsafe lane changes. Multiple violations such as these that encroach on others’ safe space may indicate a pattern of aggressive driving. Aggressive driving has become a serious public safety threat in Vermont and across the nation. Throughout the United States, law enforcement administrators, traffic safety experts, public health officials, mayors, legislators, and governors are collaborating to find solutions. Speed and curves may be a thrilling combination on a roller coaster, but in a car they can prove to be a deadly combination, especially if the driver and passengers are not wearing seat belts.
Don't take the risk, life's too short to drive too fast. Slow down, Buckle up, Arrive alive.
Vermont Speed and Aggressive Driving Facts: (Data based five year rolling average 2010 to 2014)
- There were 317 total fatalities in Vermont. 86 of these involved speeding.
- The highest number of speed-related crashes occurred in 35 and 50 mph speed limit zones.
- The highest number of speed-related injury crashes occurred on Friday and Saturday.
- Speed was a contributing factor in more than 1 of 4 (26%) of all fatal crashes during this five-year period.
Experience has shown that significant steps to improve traffic safety in this nation are made when citizens act. The NHTSA Web site has an Aggressive Driving page that offers a toolkit for starting a grassroots effort in your community to battle aggressive driving.
Our Efforts to Decrease Speeding and Aggressive Driving
In Vermont's 2012 -2016 Strategic Highway Safety Plan, one of the state’s Critical Emphasis Area (CEA) is to "Curb Speeding and Aggressive Driving."
The goals of the state are to:
- Improve the education of drivers as it relates to speeding and aggressive driving
- Improve public understanding of and adherence to speed limits
- Advance the use of infrastructure techniques and technology to manage speeds
- Employ media coverage to get the message out about the dangers of speed and aggressive driving. We distribute printed materials, radio, television, digital, and earned media.
- Fund speed trailers for state, county, and local agencies to assist in curbing the speed of drivers. These units are used in conjunction with anti-speed programs, highway work zones and serve as collection sites for data.
- Support the Work Zone Speed Project. Speed and distracted driving enforcement funding opportunities are offered to curb speed and reduce speed-related crashes within highway work zones.
- Administer driver attitude surveys. The State Highway Safety Office annually conducts a driver attitude telephone survey. This survey is conducted to acquire data on the attitudes of drivers on various subjects including: enforcement of the laws, seat belt use, texting and driving, child car seat use, speed, aggressive driving and general personal driving behavior.
Vermont Speeding Law Highlights
23 V.S.A. § 1081 - The Basic rule and maximum limits:
- No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions, having regard for the actual and potential hazards then existing.
- In every event speed shall be controlled as necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other object on or adjacent to the highway.
- The limits specified in this section or established as hereinafter authorized are maximum lawful speeds, and no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed in excess of 50 miles per hour.
- The maximum speed limits set forth in this section may be altered in accordance with sections 1003, 1004, 1007, and 1010 of this title.
- The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, drive at an appropriate, reduced speed
- When approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing,
- When approaching and going around a curve,
- When approaching the crest of a hill,
- When traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway,
- When special hazard exists.
For more information, Vermont’s Speeding laws can be found at
- 23 V.S.A.§1003 - State speed zones
- 23 V.S.A.§1004 - Interstate highway rules
- 23 V.S.A.§1007 - Local speed limits
- 23 V.S.A.§1010 - Special occasions; town highway maintenance
What to do when confronted by aggressive drivers:
- First and foremost, make every attempt to get out of the way
- Put your pride in the back seat. Do not challenge him/her by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own in your travel lane
- Avoid eye contact – Eye contact can sometimes enrage an aggressive driver
- Ignore gestures and refuse to return them
- Report serious aggressive driving - You or a passenger may call the police. But, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location
- If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash further down the road, stop a safe distance from the crash scene, wait for the police to arrive, and report the driving behavior that you witnessed
Report Aggressive Drivers
Incidents in-progress should be reported immediately by calling 911, but not while driving, pull over to a safe location. (Vermont DMV)
Past incidents and ongoing or reoccurring patterns of aggressive driving on local roads, state roads or interstate highways should be reported to the Vermont State Police Barracks responsible for that area or the local law enforcement agency. If you have witnessed or been a victim of an aggressive driving act, please call and provide the following information that is needed by law enforcement:
- The location that you last saw the vehicle
- Direction of travel
- Name of road or highway
- Made, model and color/colors of the vehicles involved
- License plate number if known
- Were weapons involved?
- What happened?
- Are you a victim or a witness?