Ask a Trooper: Unsafe speed is lead contributing factor in crashes

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Ask a Trooper by Troy Christianson

Troy Christianson


Question:  How fast can I drive before getting stopped? Is there a tolerance?

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Answer: State Patrol policy does not allow for any speeds in excess of the posted limit.

Officers use their departmental policy, the totality of circumstances, all other conditions (road, weather, lighting and traffic) and common sense. Speeding and driving too fast for conditions is discouraged by law enforcement everywhere.

State Patrol, along with more than 300 agencies statewide, will be conducting enhanced speed enforcement on the roadways beginning Friday and running through July 22.  The extra enforcement will target speeding violations as well as aggressive driving.

Each year, illegal or unsafe speed is a leading contributing factor in Minnesota’s fatal crashes, accounting for at least 130 deaths annually, of which 70 percent occur on rural, two-lane roads in Minnesota.  Preliminary numbers show 88 people were killed in speed-related crashes in 2017. Young adult motorists are the most common offenders and those at greatest risk.

Speeding is not an innocent crime — it puts every motorist on the road at risk:

• Greater potential for loss of vehicle control

• Increased stopping distance

• Less time available for driver response for crash avoidance

• Increased crash severity — the faster the speed, the more violent the crash

Remember that fines double when traveling 20 or more over the limit and if you are traveling in excess of 100 mph, you can lose your license for up to six months.

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.