Berlin Police deal with excessive speeders on Route 62

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 5:27 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BERLIN, Vt. (WCAX) - Police are cracking down on speeding on a busy road in Washington County.

Berlin Police Chief James Pontbriand said there’s an uptick in excessive speed on that road with young people behind the wheel. The Route 62 speed limit is 50 mph, but recently, Pontbriand said some offenders have been going upward of 90 mph.

“It’s not a few miles over. It’s usually over 20, 25, 30 miles an hour,” Pontbriand said.

In May alone, officers wrote eight citations for excessive speeds ranging from 80 to 93 mph.

“I think it’s people just enjoying the sunshine and wanting to get places and not paying attention to the speed. So, I think that’s why we’re seeing an uptick in excessive speed,” Pontbriand said.

He said Route 62 is generally a concerning area for speeding due to its wide road and proximity to the interstate.

“As you get up toward the hospital in that intersection, that can be problematic. There have been quite a few accidents there. People are coming off the 62 at a high rate and are unable to stop on time for that light,” Pontbriand said.

Of those eight citations in May, half were youthful offenders. We spoke with driving instructor Paul Dudley, who says students often mimic their parent’s driving behavior. He says avoiding complacency is vital because not doing so can lead to monkey-see-monkey-do behavior in following the person in front of you.

“In driver’s ed, we throw around this term ‘highway hypnosis,’ which is sort of getting comfortable, complacent with that higher speed. And then you get off to a road like 62 where the speed limit is slower, but visually, it’s not all that different,” Dudley said. “One of the things I’m big on with teenage drivers who are on an open road like this -- 50 miles an hour is anticipating traffic lights, timing traffic lights. Because, again, it helps them to avoid complacency on a road that’s otherwise kind of straight. I don’t want to say it’s easy. I don’t want to say it’s boring, but relative to a lot of other roads we may drive on, it is sort of both of those.”

Dudley says he’s noticed communities with competitive driving -- like Thunder Road -- are where he tends to see more aggressive driving.