RI sees uptick in highway crashes as more drivers hit the road

Transportation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Be aware of your surroundings. That’s the message to drivers from Major Christopher Dicomitis, commander of the Rhode Island State Police Administrative Bureau.

As Gov. Gina Raimondo gradually reopens the state, more cars have been on the road. According to the R.I. Department of Transportation, the number of cars on I-95 has increased 4% since the beginning of the shutdown, while I-195 is up 55% and I-295 is up 59%.

Data released by state police showed a significant decline in crashes from March to April – from 347 down to 222 – but that figure rose to 261 in May.

Dicomitis said the state reopening and the weather improving are both contributing factors to the uptick in crashes.

“I think being isolated for so long and not many motorists on the roadway, if you’re going out to – whether it’s the grocery store or other things – you become a little complacent, so to speak,” he said. “But now, with additional motorists out there, you need to be aware of your surroundings.”

He also mentioned there has been an increase in state police troopers on the road.

“Our troopers are now enforcing motor vehicle violations more, as well as, unfortunately, in the DUI arrests also,” Dicomitis added.

As we head into Father’s Day weekend, Dicomitis warned to watch your speed, wear your seat belt, and don’t drive impaired or distracted.

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