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Speeding tickets: Only one of many ways to keep roads safe

 Sept. 8, 2017

A trooper looks at the driver's license of a stopped driver.
Photo: The Minnesota State Patrol’s job is to keep our roads safe. Giving out speeding tickets is only one of the many ways they do that.​

If you’ve ever been pulled over while driving, you know it can be stress-inducing, regardless of the reason for the interaction. After all, the last thing anyone wants is a ticket.

Believe it or not, state troopers do a lot more than issue tickets. The tickets that are issued are done as a way to change behavior and the only purpose is to make our roads safer. None of the revenue from speeding citations even goes to the State Patrol. The mission of the organization is to provide for traffic safety through assistance, education, and enforcement.

As Colonel Matt Langer puts it, “The breadth of service and value provided by the State Patrol goes well beyond writing speeding tickets.” This fact is borne out in a number of ways.

For example, you can look at the number of speeding tickets versus warnings given out over the past few years. Troopers consistently give about twice as many speed warnings as tickets – in fact, speed warnings account for well over a third of all traffic stops.

By focusing on speed, distracted driving, and other problematic driving behaviors, the State Patrol has helped reduce the number of fatal traffic crashes over the years. In other words, speeding tickets are just a tool in the State Patrol’s toolbox that helps them keep the roads safer for all Minnesotans.

Other tools include education and assists. You’ll see troopers in schools, at driver’s ed classes, and at auto shows, educating the public about being the safest drivers they can be. And you’re just as likely to see troopers by the side of the road helping motorists who have flat tires or have run out of gas.

So next time you get pulled over by a Minnesota state trooper, remember that, whether they give you a ticket or just a warning, they’re doing so because their mission is to keep you and other motorists safe on the roads. And that’s a mission we can all support.