Watch out for speed patrols
Tuesday, March 25, 2008 9:13 AM CDT

Heightened speed patrols will be conducted by Albert Lea’s officers throughout April. From 2004 to 2006, speed was a contributing factor in seven deaths in Freeborn County and 464 deaths statewide. The Safe & Sober enforcement and education campaign is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.

Speeding is the most commonly reported factor in fatal crashes. Each year in Minnesota, speed contributes to about 150 traffic deaths and 7,000 injuries. Last year Albert Lea issued 107 speeding citations. In Freeborn County, a speeding ticket for 10 mph over the limit can range from $112 to $122.

“Speeding motorists are a constant threat to road safety,” said Lt. J.D. Carlson. “When speeds increase, crashes become more violent, and we aim to prevent those from occurring.”

Carlson cites that warm weather and clear roads increases speeding behavior — factors that are relevant as the state heads into the summer driving season, the deadliest time on Minnesota roads. He said speeding doesn’t save much travel time and greatly increases risk of a crash. Traveling at 55 mph versus 45 mph for a 10-mile journey will save only two and one-half minutes of travel time, he said.

In Minnesota, speeding fines are doubled if a motorist is caught speeding 20 mph or more over the limit, and drivers traveling 100 mph or more are subject to a six-month license revocation.

The Safe & Sober effort is coordinated by the Office of Traffic Safety as a component of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths initiative. Toward Zero Deaths is a multi-agency approach to address traffic issues regionally through enforcement, education, engineering and emergency trauma care, and response.