BEATRICE - This is Speed Awareness Week in Nebraska, a Department of Transportation initiative to get motorists to ease up on the gas pedal.
Local agencies are taking part in the weeklong observance,, like Beatrice Police, at a time traffic volume is growing.

Officer Courtney Brauch, while reading to some Lincoln Elementary students Tuesday, took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of staying within speed limits….even for those several years away from getting behind the wheel.

"We were here today reading for kindergarten reading day, but we touched on the speed limit signs, how to obey them and how to drive safely....even though it will be a while before they can drive."

The first one-hundred days of this year, the Nebraska State Patrol reported, was the fastest period on record…with over 1300 drivers ticketed for driving 90-miles-per-hour or higher.  Brauch says the majority of motorists who speed in Beatrice may be only five or ten miles over, but police do occasionally encounter the motorist pushing it farther.

"We do get quite a few speeders on our main roads. People trying to get to and from work, picking up kids. But, that's the time to slow down and get from point A to point B safe.....not only for ourselves, but for our kids, as well."

As the weather warms up, traffic volume tends to increase.  "They're going out and going to the parks, doing all of their family vacations. We definitely have more people getting out and about, now that its getting warmer and nearing summer, and school's getting out."

The City of Beatrice is in the initial stages of a Safe Streets for All plan….and staying within the speed limit is a component of that. Brauch says a motorist ten miles over the limit, or higher, doesn’t realize a travel time advantage.  "Overall, you're going to lose more time because more than likely you're going to get pulled over...and it's going to waste your time and your money. It's better to just slow down. You're not going to gain anything by trying to get there quicker."

Officer Brauch, with the Beatrice Police for three years, says the most serious speeding case she’s encountered was in west Beatrice…..a vehicle traveling 105 miles-per-hour during the nighttime…..involved in a crash. Luckily, everyone walked away.