Minnesota's fastest speeder clocked at 148 mph

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More than 17,400 speeders were ticketed in Minnesota during a two-week speed enforcement campaign in July – and the pole position holder by far was a Darwin, Minn., man who hit 148 miles per hour.

At least 12 of those thousands of speeders were going faster than 100 mph, but none of them were even close to 148 mph, the State Patrol says.

The driver was Richard Bernhagen, 41, who hit that speed – more than 90 mph over the 55-mph limit – on Tagus Avenue just north of Hutchinson on July 17 in his 2001 Ford Mustang GT, Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske told the Star Tribune. He told troopers he hadn't driven the car in while and was "airing it out," Roeske told the newspaper.

The speeders were cited during the campaign July 6-21. More than 320 law enforcement agencies around the state participated. (The patrol also put together a list of their fastest speeders by county.)

Think you'd like to go for the record next time? Think again. The state patrol says fines double for motorists clocked at just 20 mph over the speed limit, and anyone driving faster than 100 mph can lose their license for six months.

State records show that speeding was a factor in 243 traffic fatalities in Minnesota from 2010 to 2012, the Star Tribune notes.

Traffic deaths this year are one pace to roar past last year's total of 395.

“With traffic deaths surging in 2013, this enforcement campaign provided an opportunity to help create a safer driving environment on our roads by encouraging motorists to change their driving behaviors,” Donna Berger, director of the DPS Office of Traffic Safety, said. “If not corrected, those behaviors play a key role in a large number of serious and fatal crashes we see each year.”

Where are you most likely to get stopped for speeding? Edina, according to some research WCCO did earlier this year. WCCO examined 2011 data and found that Edina Police wrote 8,700 speeding tickets that year. When measured on a per capita basis, that's five times more than St. Paul and 12 times more than Minneapolis.

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