Safety officials call the trend disturbing; in the first six months of 2012, twice as many people have died on Vermont roads compared to last year.
"Our statistics here in Vermont this year are really abysmal," DMV Commissioner Rob Ide said.
Ide says 42 people have been killed in crashes this year: five on interstates, 11 on U.S. routes and 26 on secondary roads. Police say January has been the deadliest month, Sunday the deadliest day and 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. the deadliest hours.
Highway officials say these statistics are a staggering blow since touting 2011 as one of Vermont's safest driving years on record.
"This year has told us that last year was the anomaly," Ide said. "This year we are back on track to mirror the statistics of previous years."
Police say half of the 42 victims were not wearing seat belt, one-third of the drivers were under the influence of alcohol or drugs and a quarter of the fatal crashes were caused by excessive speed.
"For those of you who think there's a speed tolerance in Vermont, time to reconsider. There was a directive that went out from my office today to the state troopers," Vt. Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn said.
Over the next 60 days state and local police are teaming up to crack down on speeders. Traveling even 1 mph over the posted speed limit will make you a candidate for a ticket.
Reporter Jennifer Reading: Was there a tolerance for speed before this directive?
Keith Flynn: I think probably. I think every officer probably has their own tolerance, but now the tolerance is the one posted on the speed limit signs.
For the rest of the summer, police plan to set up speed traps in every corner of the state, which means many more drivers will be ticketed for pushing the limits. Police say they'll also use the stops to check for seat belts. The state is at an 85 percent compliance rate.
"Please, if you know anyone who doesn't wear their seat belt, just beat them up to wear their seat belt. Because we are after those 93,000 people who don't wear their seat belts, because if they did, I don't think we would have 42 fatalities so far," said Ted Minall of the Governor's Highway Safety Program.
Buckling up, and slowing down-- two of the easiest ways to save lives.
Friday, December 6 2013 7:24 AM EST2013-12-06 12:24:22 GMT
Vermont state employees will be getting paid more. The State Employees' Association say workers will see 2.5 percent pay increased each of the next two years. The tentative deal also calls for increasedMore >>
Vermont state employees will be getting paid more.More >>
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A plea deal may be in the works for the man who police say torched a Burlington bell tower. The College Street Congregational Church was badly damaged back in October by a fire investigators say was arson.More >>
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A Vermont family is homeless after fire destroyed their Concord home. Officials say the fire broke out Thursday afternoon on Ladd Road just before 4 p.m. By the time fire crews arrived on the scene theMore >>
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Dozens of Vermont nurses are headed to the Philippines to help victims of a deadly storm.More >>
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Prosecutors are calling for stiffer probation penalties for a Vermont publisher who swindled retirees out of their life savings.More >>
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There are new developments in the search for a missing New Hampshire teen. The FBI now confirms that the mother of 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez has had contact with her daughter since she vanished twoMore >>
There are new developments in the search for a missing New Hampshire teen. More >>