With reduced traffic the last several months, it would seem the risk on Minnesota roads would be reduced.

Unfortunately, many drivers have chosen to use the open roads as a license to speed.

To help put the brakes on speed-related deaths and educate motorists, officers, deputies and troopers will work overtime shifts now through July 19. 

Law enforcement agencies across the state will participate in the campaign coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS).

Excessive speeding over recent months is troubling and requires Minnesotans to commit to slowing down this summer.

From April 1-May 21, the Minnesota State Patrol pulled over 232 drivers traveling more than 100 miles per hour. That’s compared to 93 drivers during the same time period last year, a 149 percent increase.

Of the 232 drivers, 179 were 30-years-old or younger. Overall fatal crashes and fatalities from March 16-May 31 increased over last year despite reduced traffic.

While a crash can have more than one contributing factor, speed was the most frequently cited factor.

Preliminary reports show speed has already contributed to 36 motorists dying on Minnesota roads in 2020, compared with 27 at this time one year ago.

“The open roads due to reduced traffic doesn’t give anyone a license to speed,” said Mike Hanson, OTS director. “Fewer vehicles on the road doesn’t mean less danger,and now with more vehicles on the road, going the speed limit and slowing down are critical to us all coming home to our loved ones at the end of the day.”

Consequences

• Citations could cost $100 or more plus court fees, as well as increased insurance fees.

• A motor vehicle crash involving speed could result in criminal or civil penalties.

• Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.

• An increase in the stopping distance.

• Less time for drivers to respond in an effort to avoid a crash.

• Increased crash severity leading to more severe injuries and death.

- Image courtesy of the Internet Public Domain