HEAT patrols tag more than 1,400 speeders
Submitted by Ruth Anne Maddox on June 25, 2007 - 1:19pm.
ST. PAUL — During the first two weeks of HEAT (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) in 2007, participating law enforcement agencies statewide stopped 3,831 vehicles for various traffic violations and cited 1,438 drivers (nearly 38 percent of vehicles stopped) for speeding. The reporting period was June 4-16.
The number of vehicle stops and speeding violations during the first two weeks of HEAT in the Twin Cities metro area were 1,114 and 636, respectively. Stops and speed citations for the rest of the state were reported by State Patrol districts: Brainerd (292/166); Detroit Lakes (238/46); Duluth (152/81); Mankato (323/84); Marshall (392/70); Rochester (527/165); St. Cloud (332/90); Thief River Falls (152/19); and Virginia (309/81).
The figures represent only HEAT vehicle stops and speed citations and do not reflect other traffic violations or warnings issued or the results of ongoing, regular traffic enforcement. All traffic citations other than speeding will be reported on a quarterly basis.
“Minnesotans must understand that speeding is just as dangerous as impaired driving,” said Lt. Mark Peterson of the State Patrol. “Likewise, they need to expect that speeding won’t be tolerated by law enforcement.”
In last year’s HEAT efforts, officers cited nearly 34,000 drivers for illegal speed and issued 45,000 speed warnings.
In the five-year period 2002-2006, speeding was a factor in 843 of more than 2,900 traffic deaths on Minnesota roads. The estimated cost of all speed-related fatalities during that period is nearly $930 million. Officers cite illegal or unsafe speed most often as the contributing factor in fatal crashes. Twice as many speed-related fatal crashes occurred in rural areas than in urban areas.
HEAT, a federally funded enforcement program, is supported by nearly 25,000 overtime hours of dedicated speed patrols by the State Patrol, county sheriffs’ offices and local police departments.