PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Law enforcement in Philadelphia has noticed a trend of dangerous driving with fewer cars on the road. The stay-at-home order has meant fewer people on the roads, perhaps an easy commute for essential workers who are still traveling to their jobs.
But the less populated roadways are now an open opportunity for careless drivers.
“In April, we recorded three traffic fatalities in Philadelphia for the entire month,” Mayor Jim Kenney said Thursday. “This week, police reported three deaths from traffic fatalities in a matter of days. These stats are trending in the wrong direction and this unsafe behavior has to stop.”
In the past two days, three people have died on Philly streets.
A crash at Front Street and Hunting Park Avenue on Tuesday morning killed the passenger in a car whose driver ran a red light.
Later that night, a motorcyclist died after a driver of a silver sedan made an illegal U-turn at Broad and Dauphin Streets.
Three hours later, near Knights and Dundee Roads, a pedestrian was fatally hit after being struck by a driver of a white car.
“Some people, thoughtlessly, think it’s OK to speed, make illegal movements or run red lights and stop signs,” Kenney said.
A fourth person, the operator of a tractor-trailer, died on the Schuylkill Expressway after a teen driving a stolen car backed up into him early Wednesday morning.
That scene is being processed by state police.
“I’m here today to say we will not tolerate this illegal behavior,” Kenney said. “We need everybody to obey traffic laws and make safety the priority when you walk, drive, or bike.”
In a statement, Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Sekou Kinebrew wrote, in part, “We will be giving particular attention to areas where unsafe and reckless driving are known to occur, and we strongly encourage anyone who witnesses hazardous or reckless driving to contact police when safe to do so.”
Both Kenney and Kinebrew say it’s perfectly acceptable to call 911 if you witness any dangerous driving.