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NEWS RELEASE

Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Scott Wasserman  651-201-7571
scott.wasserman@state.mn.us
Dave Boxum   651-201-7569
dave.boxum@state.mn.us
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 08, 2021
STATEWIDE EXTRA SPEED ENFORCEMENT AIMED AT SLOWING DOWN DANGEROUS DRIVERS
Officials Warn of Out-of-Control Speeds, Alarming Number of Deadly Crashes
With an alarming number of speed-related traffic fatalities and serious crashes reported on Minnesota roads, state officials announced a statewide crackdown on speeding drivers and an education campaign aimed at motorists who are driving at dangerous speeds.
 
Preliminary reports show 120 motorists died in speed-related crashes in 2020, the most since 2008 (125). The 397 traffic fatalities in 2020 (preliminary) are the most in five years, with speed contributing to 30 percent of all fatalities last year. Six people have already lost their lives this year in speed-related crashes. Overall, preliminary numbers show 23 people have lost their lives on Minnesota roads in 2021 compared with 24 this time last year.
 
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS), in collaboration with the Minnesota departments of Health and Transportation, is implementing the extra enforcement and public outreach campaign. The three state agencies are the anchoring partners of the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) coalition that works to reduce traffic crashes, injuries and deaths on Minnesota roads.
 
DPS-OTS is coordinating the campaign with initial funding of $1 million from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The effort will include the State Patrol, police and sheriff departments around the state.
 
Drivers who speed should expect to be stopped.
 
“We’re taking a multi-agency, concerted effort with law enforcement and traffic safety partners statewide because speeding is the one bad decision that makes every other driving mistake worse,” says Mike Hanson, Office of Traffic Safety director. “Too often we see crashes from distracted or impaired driving where speed turns a minor crash into a fatal or life-changing event for those involved. We all need to drive smart by going the speed limit or driving to the conditions of the road, especially in the winter. If we all do our part, we can get home safely to our families at the end of the day.”   
  
Speed-Related Traffic Fatalities
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
86
85
74
76
94
78
89
88
113
75
120
 
Frightening Speeds Lead to Increased Citations
The Minnesota State Patrol saw an alarming increase in the number of drivers going 100 mph or more in 2020.
  • Troopers wrote 1,068 citations to drivers in 2020 traveling more than 100 mph, compared to 533 in 2019, a 100 percent increase.
  • The top speed was 153 mph for a citation written in October of 2020.
 The Minnesota State Patrol began extra speed enforcement on New Year’s Day. During the first month (Jan. 1- Feb. 2), the Minnesota State Patrol cited 7,252 drivers for speeding, 78 of those for speeds of 100 mph or more. The highest speed was 123 mph in Sherburne County by an 18-year-old driver.
 
 “We are very frustrated and appalled by the lack of compliance to Minnesota speed limits by some drivers in our state,” says Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol. “Traveling above the speed limit, especially more than 100 mph, is unacceptable and puts the lives of everyone around you in danger. If you speed, expect our troopers to stop you and cite you with a ticket. Our hope is that motorists heed our warning and slow down!”
 
Col. Langer indicated that each State Patrol district in Minnesota will have extra, speed-focused enforcement for the next several months. Drivers can expect to see troopers looking for speeders at any time on any state highway or interstate.
 
2019 State Patrol 100 mph Citations
Age
Jan.
Feb.
March
April
May
June
July
Aug.
Sept.
Oct.
Nov.
Dec
Total
13-19
9
3
7
12
14
13
16
16
5
8
8
11
122
20-29
21
4
18
24
30
21
28
16
19
14
25
15
235
30-39
4
 
5
13
8
13
10
15
12
4
8
6
98
40-49
1
 
3
7
5
3
3
8
9
5
3
4
51
50-59
 
 
1
1
 
2
2
3
2
3
2
1
17
60-69
 
 
 
1
1
 
1
1
2
 
1
 
7
70-79
 
 
 
 
 
2
 
 
 
 
 
 
2
80-89
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
1
Total:
35
7
34
58
58
54
60
59
49
34
48
37
533
 
2020 State Patrol 100 mph Citations
Age
Jan.
Feb.
March
April
May
June
July
Aug.
Sept.
Oct.
Nov.
Dec
Total
13-19
9
9
31
37
27
15
28
31
23
22
23
24
279
20-29
16
19
40
70
61
37
51
51
34
40
36
42
497
30-39
5
6
9
32
14
17
17
14
14
19
17
12
176
40-49
2
2
8
4
4
4
7
11
7
7
2
11
69
50-59
 
2
2
4
5
2
3
3
3
5
 
4
33
60-69
1
 
2
1
1
2
1
 
 
 
 
2
10
70-79
 
 
 
 
2
 
1
1
 
 
 
 
4
Total:
33
38
92
148
114
77
108
111
81
93
78
95
1,068
 
 Drive Smart: Avoid Speeding Risks
  • Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.
  • Increased stopping time and distance.
  • Increased crash severity leading to more serious injuries and death.
A Costly Choice
A citation may affect a person’s bank account, driving record or insurance rates, but the resulting change in behavior can be a lifesaver. A speed-related crash can lead to far worse consequences.
  • The cost of a speeding violation will vary by county, but it will typically cost a driver more than $110 with court fees for traveling 10 mph over the limit. Fines double for those speeding 20 mph over the limit and drivers can lose their license for six months for going 100 mph or more.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
DPS comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
 
About the Office of Traffic Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-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. DPS-OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov