Stepped-up speed enforcement in effect

Published 9:30 pm Sunday, July 8, 2018

Extra speed enforcement started Friday and will continue through July 22 as part of a statewide campaign reminding Minnesotans to obey the speed limit and not drive aggressively.

The Albert Lea Police Department and Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office are participating in the campaign, along with more than 300 agencies statewide, according to a press release.

“Posted speed limits are not just a nice suggestion — they’re the law designed to keep drivers and everyone around them safe,” said Albert Lea Police Department Lt. Jeff Strom. “Driving aggressively and speeding gives you less room for error and can cause others to react in ways that endangers their lives. Remember that safe driving is a cooperative effort, and the selfish choice to speed can ruin the lives of so many.”

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Preliminary numbers show 88 people were killed in the state in speed-related crashes in 2017, according to the release, with the deadliest period on the road from Memorial Day through Labor Day. More than twice as many speed-related fatal crashes occur on rural roads than major urban roads.

The release states reducing speeds reduces chances of a crash, gives the driver more vehicle control, allows the driver to respond quicker to road situations and decreases the severity of the impact during a crash.

Motorists are advised to keep a three-second following distance to allow for safe stopping and reaction to other vehicles. They should also keep in mind that it takes more than the length of a football field to stop when traveling at 60 mph.

The effort is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety as part of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths program. The department provides federal overtime funding for law enforcement officers to conduct increased patrols.