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State Patrol extends HEAT patrols through December

The Minnesota State Patrol says motorists will continue to see a "significant" trooper presence on freeways and highways across the state.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Pointing to a reduction in traffic fatalities and an uptick in stops for dangerous driving infractions, the Minnesota State Patrol is extending its HEAT (Highway Enforcement for Aggressive Traffic) program through the end of 2022. 

The announcement means motorists across Minnesota will continue to see a significant trooper presence on highways and freeways as they focus on excessive speed, while also keeping an eye open for aggressive driving and DWIs. 

Troopers from neighboring districts will work in teams to saturate a specific enforcement area. They will be supported by the State Patrol aviation unit, to insure drivers attempting to flee law enforcement will be located and held accountable. 

“Our HEAT patrols are working," said State Patrol Chief Col. Matt Langer. "Fatalities are down nearly 10% from this time last year, but we’re still seeing too many deadly crashes and too many people driving dangerously.”  

Here are some results of the statewide HEAT program from Feb. 14 through Aug. 30, 2022: 

  • Traffic Stops: 20,067
  • Citations: 9,197
  • Speed Citations: 6,398
  • Arrests: 191
  • DWI Arrests: 91

Statistics also show the number of speed-related fatalities on Minnesota roads are down as of Aug. 30, at 81 in 2022 when compared to 117 by this point in the year in 2021. 

The Minnesota State Patrol launched the HEAT program in February to focus on traffic safety and provide a stepped-up law enforcement presence in the city of Minneapolis. The enforcement action was criticized by a number of activist groups who said HEAT was simply another way to target communities of color, an accusation Langer pointedly denied. 

The program was expanded statewide in March and extended through the summer. In the six months HEAT has been operational troopers have worked more than 11,000 hours and logged more than 252,000 miles. 

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