This spring, fewer cars were on the roads due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the state's Stay-at-Home orders, but it hasn't meant people are taking it easy on the roads.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, 232 drivers traveling more than 100 mph were pulled over between April 1-May 21.
That marks a 149 percent increase compared to the 93 drivers who were pulled over for going 100 mph or more during the same period last year.
Of those who were pulled over for going more than 100 mph, 179 were 30 years old or younger, a June 18 news release says.
“The open roads due to reduced traffic doesn’t give anyone a license to speed,” Mike Hanson, state Office of Traffic Safety director, said in the release. “Fewer vehicles on the road doesn’t mean less danger. And now with more vehicles on the road, going the speed limit and slowing down are critical to us all coming home to our loved ones at the end of the day.”
According to the state Office of Traffic Safety, crashes and fatalities from March 16-May 31 increased over last year, despite less traffic. Speed was the most frequently cited factor in the crashes.
In an effort to reduce the number of speeders and fatal crashes, law enforcement officials statewide are working overtime through July 19 as part of a crackdown on speeding.
This effort began on June 22, and reminders are being issued ahead of the 4th of July holiday.
Citations for speeding can cost a driver $100 or more, plus court fees, as well as an increase in insurance fees. A crash associated with speeding can result in criminal or civil penalties as well.
When you speed while driving, there's a greater loss of vehicle control, increased stopping distance, less time for a driver to respond to avoid a crash and increased crash severity leading to more severe injuries and death, a release states.