MSP with Increased Speed Patrol to Kick Off 2021
ST. PAUL — 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. Sgt. Jess Grabow with the Minnesota State Patrol says this isn’t about meeting quotas or making money, it’s about saving lives.
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.
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, according to Sgt. Grabow.
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.