ST. PAUL - They warned us.
Law enforcement officials across Minnesota announced that they'd be on the lookout for speeders during the month of July, but plenty of motorists weren't listening.
23,285 drivers, to be exact.
That's the number that were pulled over and ticketed for driving at illegal and unsafe speeds, according to preliminary reports from 273 law enforcement agencies statewide.
The state says 23 drivers were pulled over for going in excess of 100 miles per hour.
The campaign was coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety.
"This effort was conducted to encourage motorists to drive safe speeds with the focus of preventing serious and fatal crashes," says Donna Berger, director of the DPS Office of Traffic Safety.
An average speeding citation for 10 mph over the limit is typically more than $120. Motorists stopped driving 20 mph over the speed limit face double that fine, and those ticketed traveling more than 100 mph can lose their license for six months.
Unsafe and illegal speed is the most commonly reported contributing factor in fatal crashes. During 2009-2011, speed factored in 254 traffic deaths statewide and 689 severe, life-altering injuries.
DPS says that results in an economic impact of $584 million.
It appears things are trending the wrong way. In a similar statewide campaign last July, 19,908 motorists were cited for speeding.
Safety experts say that speeding leads to:
- Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.
- Increased stopping distance - it takes more than the length of a football field to stop when traveling at 60 miles per hour.
- Less time available for driver response for crash avoidance.
- Increased crash severity leading to more numerous and severe injuries.
The State Patrol says motorists should keep a three-second following distance to allow for safe stopping and reaction.
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