ST. PAUL – Some of the excuses officers hear for speeding may sound funny but the results of speeding can be deadly serious. Preliminary reports show 16,926 motorists were ticketed for driving at illegal or unsafe speeds during the July enforcement campaign. Excuses ranged from “I am rushing to the vet with my sick cat” to “I have to go to the bathroom and am trying to get to a gas station.”
Speeding is never safe and is a contributing factor in nearly one out of every four fatal crashes in Minnesota over the last 10 years. The Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS/OTS) coordinated an enhanced enforcement and education program July 10 – 27 to help drivers recognize the importance of obeying the speed limit. The preliminary citation information comes from 310 law enforcement agencies across the state.
Reporting agencies cited at least 14 drivers for traveling more than 100 mph during the 18-day campaign. The top-five high speeds reported were:
- 125 mph – State Patrol District 2300
- 120 mph – Anoka County Sheriff
- 117 mph – State Patrol District 2800
- 114 mph – State Patrol District 2500
- 112 mph – State Patrol District 3200
“The pain of a speeding ticket does not compare to the physical and emotional pain you can experience from a speed-related crash,” said Donna Berger, OTS director. “Law enforcement hears all kinds of excuses, but there is no excuse to put you and others in harm's way by speeding.”
In the last three years (2011-2013), illegal and unsafe speed contributed to 213 fatal crashes, 235 deaths and 666 serious injuries.
Dangers and Consequences of Speeding
Summer is the deadliest season on Minnesota roads, largely due to motorists traveling at faster, unsafe speeds – with clear roads giving drivers a false sense of security. Officials remind motorists that with speeding, there’s more likelihood of losing control, less time to avoid a crash and a greater chance of getting killed or seriously injured.
Three Seconds Is the Safe Following Distance
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 miles per hour.
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
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
(TZD) traffic safety initiative.
Recent OTS Activity and Statistics
- To-date, there have been 187 traffic deaths, 19 fewer than were reported this time last year.
- Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2013 is a summary of last year’s traffic crashes, derived from law enforcement reports and describes how, why and where crashes occurred and who was involved.
- The May 19-June 1 Click It or Ticket campaign reported 10,874 seat belt citations and 279 child restraint tickets from 329 law enforcement agencies.
- Final reports on enhanced enforcement for distracted driving during April 11-20 reported 827 texting citations from 308 law enforcement agencies.
In a continuing effort to advance traffic safety in Minnesota, DPS awarded new federal grants totaling more than $8.5 million for regional partners to support overtime traffic safety enforcement and educational efforts through September 2014.