ask a trooper
Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol
Question: I see so many vehicles driving too fast on the highways. Are you guys doing anything about it?
Answer: You are correct and yes we are. As we’ve reached the halfway point of July – and summer – it’s important to remember that extra speed enforcement is ongoing across the state with help from the Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS).
Extra speed enforcement began statewide July 1 and runs through July 31 as part of a campaign coordinated by DPS-OTS. Minnesota State Troopers, deputies and police officers are spending additional time stopping speeders to make sure everyone gets home safe.
July 17 – marked the halfway point of the 100 deadliest days to be on the roads. Speed was the largest contributing factor in fatal traffic crashes during the 100 deadliest days last summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day).
During the 100 deadliest days in the past five years (2017-2021), preliminary numbers show that 196 people lost their lives in speed-related crashes.
“We see it every day on just about every road, drivers going too fast,” said Mike Hanson, Office of Traffic Safety director. “The warm weather and snow-free roads make it easy to want to drive faster, but it’s a dangerous decision. When speeds go up, so does the likelihood of fatal crashes and serious injuries. Going the speed limit and slowing down in construction zones are critical to us all coming home to our loved ones at the end of the day.”
While many Minnesotans are driving smart, others are still driving too fast. In 2021, the Minnesota State Patrol issued 1,249 speeding tickets for speeds of 100 mph or more, compared with 1,080 in 2020 and 533 tickets for those excessive speeds in 2019.
Those speeds are deadly. Preliminary numbers show there were 488 traffic fatalities in 2021 — the most since 2007 when 510 people died. Preliminary numbers show the 100-day stretch last year accounted for 167 of the 488 traffic fatalities.
Minnesota is joining law enforcement officers from six states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin) on July 27 for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Region 5 high visibility Speed Awareness Day enforcement campaign. In 2020, there were 5,413 fatal injuries in the six-state region with 1,688 (30.8 percent) being speed-related fatalities. This was an 11.5 percent increase from 2019.
Whether it’s the interstate, highway, your neighborhood or the communities you travel through, speeding risks the lives of others. Reducing your speed gives you more vehicle control, more time to respond to any road situations and decreases the severity of impact during a crash. All those add up to making the road safer for everyone.
Speeding is a costly choice, as well. The cost of a speeding citation will vary by county, but traveling 10 mph over the limit typically costs a driver more than $110 with court fees and double that for going over 20 mph. Those who get cited for going 100 mph or more can lose their license for six months.
Look out for everyone’s safety – and your bank account – by slowing down.
If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, firstname.lastname@example.org).