Extra speeding patrols going on in Albert Lea

Published 10:48 am Monday, July 11, 2016

The Albert Lea Police Department and Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office are conducting increased patrols to prevent speed-related deaths.

The patrols started Friday and last until July 22.

According to a press release, speeding puts motorists at a greater potential for loss of vehicle control, increased stopping distance, less time for driver response for crash avoidance, and increased crash severity leading to more severe injuries and death.

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Speed reportedly contributes to one out of five fatalities on Minnesota roads — 78 in 2015.

Motorists are advised to keep a three-second following distance to allow for safe stopping and reaction to other vehicles.

The press release stated that speeding is the most common traffic law violation. In Freeborn County, an average speeding citation for 10 mph over the speed limit is $130.

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.

According to the press release, a record number of motorcyclists are on the road. A major factor in rider deaths is reportedly unsafe speeds, and more than half of all motorcycle crashes are single-vehicle in which the rider loses control of the bike and runs off the road or crashes.

Albert Lea Police Department Lt. Jeff Strom advised motorists to look twice for motorcycles.

“Motorcyclists and motorists need to take safety into their own hands and travel at safe speeds,” Strom said. “We urge motorists to always look twice for riders since motorcycles are smaller and their speed and distance are more difficult to judge.”

According to the press release, speed-related fatal crashes have decreased by 48 percent in the last 10 years in Minnesota.

The speed enforcement and educational efforts are part of the Toward Zero Deaths traffic program. The program’s primary vision is to have motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. The program focuses on the application of four areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency medical and trauma response.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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