Speak up about slowing down

Summer is a deadly time for speeders:

Extra Enforcement on Houston County roads is set for July 10 – 26


To keep motorists safe this summer, the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, Spring Grove Police Department, Caledonia Police Department, Houston Police Department, Hokah Police Department and La Crescent Police Department are conducting increased speed patrols, July 10–26, as part of a statewide speed enforcement effort. The enforcement and education effort is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety.

Speed kills

Speed is a leading factor in crashes, contributing to one out of every four fatalities on Minnesota roads. While speed-related fatal crashes have decreased from 26 percent (2005–2009) to 21 percent (2010–2014), driving too fast continues to play a major role in crashes. Speed contributes to an average of 105 deaths and 284 serious injuries a year. On average, 28 people will lose their lives during the three month summer period (June–August) due to unsafe speeds on Minnesota roads “Speeding not only puts your life in danger, but the lives of your passengers and others on the road at risk,” Sheriff Mark Inglett said. “If the driver in your vehicle is going an unsafe speed, don’t be afraid to speak up. It could save your life.”

Speeding Costs

• The most common traffic-law violation is speeding, outnumbering all other traffic violations combined. (AAA)

• In Houston County, an average speeding citation for 10 mph over the limit is $115. 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.

• For every 5 mph above 50 mph, it’s like paying an additional 19 cents per gallon. (Department of Energy)

Speeding to get nowhere fast

Speeding does not help you get to your destination significantly faster. According to AAA, travel time for a 30 mile trip:

• 55 miles per hour = 32.7 minutes.

• 65 miles an hour = 27.7 minutes (5 minutes saved).

• 75 miles per hour = 24 minutes (8 minutes saved).

Consequences of speeding

• Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.

• Increased stopping distance.

• Less time for driver response for crash avoidance.

• Increased crash severity leading to more severe injuries and death.

Three seconds is the safe following distance

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

• It takes more than the length of a football field to stop when traveling at 60 miles per hour.

Look twice for motorcyclists

Another safety concern in July is the record-high number of motorcyclists on the road. A major factor in rider deaths is unsafe speeds. More than half of all motorcycle crashes are single-vehicle events in which the rider loses control of the bike and runs off the road or crashes.

“We urge motorcyclists to travel at safe speeds and motorists to look twice for riders – especially at intersections. Motorcycles are smaller and their speeds and distance can be harder to gauge,” Sheriff Mark Inglett says.

Extra speed enforcement and education efforts are part of the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes – education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.