Minnesota Police Cite 21 Drivers in July for High-Risk Speeding

Law enforcement officials in Minnesota say they cited 21 motorists for driving more than 100 mph in July—including one driver who was clocked at 135 mph.

The citations are the result of a statewide crackdown on speeding by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS), State Patrol and transportation department.

“Many motorists fail to see the dangers in speeding and don’t understand its deadly consequences,” State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said in a statement. “This campaign focuses on educating drivers that when your speed increases, so does your risk of crashing.”

Officials pointed out that the costs of excessive speeding can be steep, including not only monetary fines and increased insurance costs, but also injuries and loss of life.

Speeding was at least partly to blame for 86 deaths in Minnesota in 2010, according to DPS.

Nationwide, driving over the speed limit was a factor in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes in 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported.

As in other states, lead-footed drivers in Minnesota can face serious financial penalties.

Speeding citations vary between counties but average about $120 statewide, DPS says. Motorists who exceed posted limits by 20 mph face double the fine and those traveling at more than 100 mph can lose their licenses for six months.

And speeders in Minnesota and elsewhere can expect more than just short-term hits to the pocketbook.

A motorist’s driving record—including any citations for exceeding posted limits or other infractions—is a major factor in determining the price he or she will pay for auto coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).

Those with tarnished records seeking coverage even from cheap insurance companies are likely to have difficulty finding inexpensive auto coverage.

According to DPS, driving at excessive rates of speed is dangerous in part because it makes a driver far more likely to lose control of a vehicle. It also increases the distance required to stop, cuts the time a motorist has to avoid a crash and increases crash severity.

The state agency recommends that motorists maintain at least a three-second distance between them and the vehicle in front.

According to a recent nationwide survey by Allstate, nine out of 10 motorists admitted to exceeding posted speed limits, and 40 percent said they had topped the limit by more than 20 mph.

About 53 percent had gotten a speeding ticket or other moving violation citation, with 44 percent of those drivers receiving three or more.

About Gregor McGavin
Gregor McGavin is an award-winning journalist who has reported across the country for such publications as The Associated Press, the Arizona Republic, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Press-Enterprise.

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