Hyundais and Kias are being driven like they’re stolen.
Those makes are getting clocked at higher speeds on Interstate 83 since the cars started being stolen in record numbers this year, a Baltimore Banner analysis of speed camera citation data shows.
It’s been one year since the two I-83 cameras — one positioned northbound, the other southbound — came online. The Banner found that crashes and speeds on I-83 are down since the cameras were installed. But that wasn’t the only thing that caught our interest.
Hyundais and Kias were cited at slower speeds on average than all other makes. That changed in February, when the average speed of Kia and Hyundai car models jumped past all other makes. It’s possible this is due to the “Kia Boyz” TikTok trend. This trend popularized the exploitation of Kia’s and Hyundai’s “turn-in-key” systems. The trend has coincided with a massive increase in auto thefts in Baltimore, returning Baltimore to rates not seen since the ’90s.
Drivers speed more at night
The I-83 speed cameras may be convincing some drivers to slow down, but there’s one factor that appears to influence their decision: time.
Data shows the time of day is correlated with citation speeds on I-83. Morning drivers get cited at an average speed that is slower than an evening or nighttime driver. The peak is at 3 a.m.
Out-of-state drivers are not the problem
Cars with Pennsylvania and Virginia tags are responsible for some of the fastest speeds clocked on I-83. But it’s Maryland tags that are the most responsible for the high speeds. One car with a Maryland plate was clocked at 124 mph.
On average, drivers who speed are getting ticketed around the 65 mph mark, plus or minus a few tenths. Overall, citation speeds have fallen by only 0.2 mph since speeding cameras were activated in July 2022, data shows.
Maryland drivers are mostly to blame
To be sure, out-of-state drivers — or, at least those bearing non-Maryland tags — account for some of the citations on I-83. But it’s minimal.
Maryland license plates account for the bulk of the speeding, data shows. Local tags make up about 83% of repeat speeding offenses on I-83.
Fewer cars are getting speeding tickets
The number of speed citations is also on the decline a year after the program’s implementation. Speeding citations dropped by 34% after one year.
Drivers appear to be reacting to the fact that these speed cameras are here to stay.