Ask a Trooper: Speed is leading factor in Minnesota fatal crashes

Published 9:30 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Ask a Trooper by Troy Christianson

Troy Christianson


Question: When the speed limit changes on a road, does the new speed limit start at the sign, or does it start when you can see the sign?

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Answer: The speed zone becomes effective when you reach the sign. If the speed limit reduces, you must slow down before the sign. If the speed limit increases, you must wait until you reach the new speed limit sign before increasing your speed.

Each year, illegal or unsafe speed is a leading contributing factor in Minnesota fatal crashes. To continue educating the public on the dangers of speed, law enforcement across Minnesota are conducting extra speed patrols July 6 to 22.

Speed contributed to:

• In 2017, preliminary numbers show speed was the No. 1 contributing factor in single-vehicle crashes.

• Preliminary numbers show 88 people were killed in speed-related crashes in 2017.

• During the 100 deadliest days in the past five years (2013-17), preliminary numbers show that 108 people lost their lives in speed-related crashes.

The most common speed limits are:

• 10 mph in alleys

• 30 mph on streets in urban districts

• 55 mph on other roads

• 65 mph on expressways

• 65 mph on urban interstate highways

• 70 mph on rural interstate highways

Troopers actively enforce speed limits throughout Minnesota in an effort to reduce crashes and save lives. Please remember, the posted speed limit is not a suggestion, it is posted to keep motorists safe. Please pay attention at all times while driving and obey all traffic laws.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 2900 48th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901-5848; or reach him at

Troy Christianson is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.