MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota State Patrol is working to put the brakes on a startling new statistic.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports there were 92 speed-related deaths in 2016. An increase from 78 deaths in 2015.
Depending on age and other factors, troopers say it takes a half second for a driver to hit the brakes when responding to activity on the road. Speed, authorities say, is a major factor, especially in the summertime.
"Roads are in great condition, it's a beautiful sunny day. People are thinking about other things, getting to the beach, picking up friends, they are not engaged in the moment," said Lt. Tiffani Nielson, Minnesota State Patrol.
When drivers go faster than the speed limit, it can be a matter of life and death. Over the past 5 years, between Memorial Day to Labor Day, 109 people in Minnesota died in speed-related crashes. Authorities say even going 5 or 10 miles-per-hour over the speed limit is dangerous. And your best bet is to stick to the speed limit.
"I can think of people I've talked to who injured or killed somebody and they feel horrible about it, they wish they would have changed their actions, they wish they would have done something different but they can't undo the decision that they made," said Lt. Nielson.
For the next two weeks, more than 300 agencies will step up speed enforcement. Their overtime will be covered through a federal grant. The initiative starts Friday and will last until July 23rd.
If you are caught speeding, prepare to pay. Costs will vary by county, but will typically run a driver more than $110 in court fees for traveling 10 miles-per-hour over the limit. Fines double for those traveling 20 miles-per-hour over the limit. Fines for speeding in a work zone are more than $300. A driver can lose their license for 6 months for going 100 miles-per-hour or more.