ST. PAUL — Minnesota officers have heard every excuse from motorists for speeding, but now motorists should hear this: There will be enhanced speed enforcement patrols in July as part of a statewide campaign coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (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.
“Many drivers may not perceive speeding as a great risk on the road, but when you push above the speed limit, you are pushing the limits of road safety,” says Donna Berger, director of the DPS Office of Traffic Safety. “Driving at unsafe speeds is just as dangerous and deadly as drunk and distracted driving.”
The statewide July effort includes around 400 agencies — State Patrol, county sheriffs’ offices and municipal agencies — and supplements an ongoing, 12-month enforcement campaign that launched in October 2011. During October 2011–March 2012, (most recent data), this campaign has resulted in 18,878 vehicle stops and 3,573 speed tickets, with male drivers ages 21–34 accounting for 22 percent of the stops.
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.
In a similar statewide campaign last July, nearly 20,000 motorists were cited for speeding of which 21 were above 100 mph.
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.
Officials say motorists should keep a three-second following distance to allow for safe stopping and reaction to other vehicles.
New Campaign Showcases Excuses
The enforcement is promoted by an ad campaign that spotlights various excuses motorists give for speeding. Watch or download a broadcast-quality version of the TV spot, listen and download the radio spot and view and download the print (PDF) execution.
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.