From: Jacalyn Sticha
Minneota State Patrol
Drive at safe speeds and you won’t find flashing lights in your rear view mirror. The Minnesota State Patrol is conducting increased speed patrols to combat a deadly cause of traffic crashes. The special “speed week” enforcement and education effort is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.
Unsafe and illegal speed is the most commonly reported contributing factor in fatal crashes. An average speeding citation is over $100. Motorists stopped at 20 mph over the speed limit face double the fine, and those ticketed traveling more than 100 mph can lose their license for six months.
Consequences of Speeding
Minnesota State Patrol cites these dangers of speeding:
Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.
Increased stopping distance.
Less time available for driver response for crash avoidance.
Increased crash severity leading to more numerous and severe injuries.
Motorists traveling at 65 miles per hour compared to 55 mph will save only 1 minute and 41 seconds on a 10-mile trip.
More than twice as many speed-related fatal crashes occur on rural roads than major urban roads.
Are You an Aggressive Driver?
Aggressive driving traits — such as tailgating, unsafe passing, running lights and weaving in and out of traffic — are another safety concern of the State Patrol. Motorists confronted by aggressive drivers should: Get out of their way, stay calm, do not challenge them and avoid eye contact. Motorists may also report aggressive driving and should be prepared to provide vehicle description, license number and location.
Three Seconds Is the Safe Following Distance
At least a three-second following distance allows for safe stopping and reaction to other vehicles. It takes more than the length of a football field to stop when traveling at 60 miles per hour.
The State Patrol, with other law enforcement agencies, is conducting “speed weeks” — extra speed enforcement and education efforts — through Sept. 30, 2013, as part of the Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety Toward Zero Deaths traffic safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.