Police: Empty streets due to COVID-19 entice speeders

VIDEO: Police say some drivers ignoring speed limits

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Bellevue police say they are seeing drivers treating city streets like freeways.

On Tuesday they set up a speed emphasis patrol on NE 8th Street near 130th Ave. NE.

“One thing we’ve noticed with the coronavirus, traffic volumes have been way down--excessive, agregious speeding has gone way up,” said Capt. Joe Nault, traffic commander for the Bellevue Police Department.

Content Continues Below

They are concerned because while there are fewer drivers on the roads there are many more pedestrians and cyclists than usual. The faster a car is going the less likely the pedestrian will survive the impact.

During Tuesday’s emphasis Officer Seth Tyler, wearing a protective mask, stopped cars going more than 50 in a 35 mile per hour zone.

"Unfortunately there are some drivers out there who will go as fast as traffic allows so when we have very light traffic, as we have had recently, they'll go as fast as they can without regard to the speed limit," said Officer Seth Tyler.

Last week Officer Tyler stopped a driver on Bellevue Way going twice the speed limit, without insurance. The ticket was nearly $900.

Capt. Nault said he recently stopped a driver going 100 miles per hour on I-405.

They're asking drivers to slow down.

"We want to remind people to slow down or you may be paying up," said Officer Tyler. "Drive like you're in the neighborhood where you live, where your kids play and where your neighbors are."

To limit their contact with drivers officers are mailing the infractions when possible.