Law enforcement cited 17,415 motorists for driving at illegal and unsafe speeds during a statewide speed enforcement campaign, July 6-21, according to preliminary reports from 328 law enforcement agencies.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety coordinated the campaign.
Elk River Police issued 91 speeding tickets during the speed enforcement wave.
Reporting agencies cited at least 12 motorists for traveling more than 100 mph during the two-week campaign. The highest speeds reported were:
•148 mph—Minnesota State Patrol (Mankato District)
•114 mph—Minnesota State Patrol (Marshall District)
•111 mph—Minnesota State Patrol (West Metro District)
•110 mph—Carver County Sheriff
•105 mph—Minnesota State Patrol (Rochester District, Detroit Lakes District)
An average speeding citation for 10 mph over the limit is typically more than $120. Motorists stopped at 20 mph over the speed limit face double the fine, and those ticketed traveling more than 100 mph can lose their license for six months.
“With traffic deaths surging in 2013, this enforcement campaign provided an opportunity to help create a safer driving environment on our roads by encouraging motorists to change their driving behaviors,” said Donna Berger, director of the DPS Office of Traffic Safety. “If not corrected, those behaviors play a key role in a large number of serious and fatal crashes we see each year.”
Driving at unsafe and illegal speeds is a leading crash death factor and accounts for around 80 traffic deaths annually — 243 deaths in the past three years (2010-2012).
In a similar campaign in July 2012, 23,285 motorists were cited for speeding.
Summertime is the deadliest period of the year largely due to motorists traveling at faster, unsafe speeds, with clear roads giving drivers a false sense of security. Officials remind motorists that the faster the speed, the harder and more violent the crash. Speeding leads to:
•Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.
•Increased stopping distance.
•Less time available for driver response for crash avoidance.
•Increased crash severity, leading to more numerous and severe injuries.
Motorists should keep a three-second following distance to allow for safe stopping and reaction to other vehicles. It takes more than the length of a football field to stop when traveling at 60 mph.