ST. PAUL — With less traffic over the last few months, drivers have used Minnesota's open roads as a licence to speed. This has forced officers, deputies and troopers to work overtime shifts June 22 through July 19 to put the brakes on speed-related deaths and educate motorists, according to a release.

Law enforcement agencies across the state will participate in the campaign coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.

Excessive speeding over recent months is troubling and requires Minnesotans to commit to slowing down this summer, the release said.

  • From April 1 to May 21, the Minnesota State Patrol pulled over 232 drivers traveling more than 100 mph. That’s compared to 93 drivers during the same time period last year, a 149% increase. Of the 232 drivers, 179 were 30-years-old or younger.
  • Overall fatal crashes and fatalities from March 16 to May 31 increased over last year despite reduced traffic.
  • While a crash can have more than one contributing factor, speed was the most frequently cited factor.

Preliminary reports show speed has already contributed to 36 motorists dying on Minnesota roads in 2020, compared with 27 at this time last year, according to the department.