ST. PAUL — A statewide speed enforcement campaign in July pulled over 23,285 motorists for driving at illegal and unsafe speeds, according to preliminary reports from 273 law enforcement agencies. The campaign was coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety.
During the campaign, the State Patrol cited 23 motorists for traveling over 100 mph.
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.
“This effort was conducted to encourage motorists to drive safe speeds with the focus of preventing serious and fatal crashes,” says Donna Berger, director of the DPS Office of Traffic Safety.
Unsafe and illegal speed is the most commonly reported contributing factor in fatal crashes. During 2009–2011, speed factored in 254 traffic deaths statewide and 689 severe, life-altering injuries, resulting in an economic impact of $584 million.
In a similar statewide campaign last July, 19,908 motorists were cited for speeding.
The Dangers and Consequences of Speeding
• Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.
• Increased stopping distance — it takes more than the length of a football field to stop when traveling at 60 miles per hour.
• 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.
About the Office of Traffic Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) designs, implements, and coordinates federally funded traffic safety enforcement and education programs to improve driver behaviors and reduce the deaths and serious injuries that occur on Minnesota roads. OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.
OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths traffic safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.
Office of Traffic Safety Highlights
• OTS issued the 2011 Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report, citing 368 traffic deaths for the year, the lowest since 1944 and a 44 percent reduction in deaths from a decade ago.
• OTS recognized the state’s DWI Enforcer All-Stars at Target Field June 25. The leading DWI enforcer is Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Mark Hibbard with 241 DWI arrests in 2011.
• July 1 marked one year of the state’s ignition interlock DWI sanction. Nearly 3,000 DWI offenders are using interlock to benefit road safety and ensure legal, sober driving.
• Media are encouraged to download and broadcast or place OTS public service announcements to advance road safety.
• Media are encouraged to localize traffic safety news by referencing county-specific crash facts.