Speeding can be tempting; on backroads and in rural towns where police enforcement seems to be absent, driving fast can appear to be harmless. The statistics say otherwise, however. In 2018, the number of speed-related deaths in Minnesota was the highest it’s been in over a decade. Now police officers are cracking down. 

In 2008, Minnesota recorded 125 fatalities in car accidents where vehicle speed was a significant contributing factor. This past year, there were 113 deaths reported, leading Minnesota law enforcement to instigate close monitoring of the state’s drivers. Beginning on Tuesday, June 18 and continuing until July 21, police will be present in most places, looking to catch anyone remotely speeding. 

While this may be aggravating and inconvenient for some, the campaign comes with a good cause. Not only is the 2018 fatality statistic the highest it’s been since 2008, but it is also the first time speed-related deaths have surpassed above 100 for the first time in more than a decade. Additionally, there were 30 deaths reported between Memorial Day and Labor Day of 2018. Furthermore, speeding was a contributing cause in 25% of crashes last year. Clearly, Minnesota law enforcement has reason to adjust its mindset on the severity of vehicle violations. 

Mike Hanson, director of the Office of Traffic Safety, believes there’s no off-season to safe driving. At the end of the day, we all want to return home in one piece. Whether it’s “going the speed limit” on major highways or simply “slowing down in construction zones,” the little things add up.

The typical cost of a speeding ticket sits at $110, but this fine doubles when drivers are exceeding the speed limit by more than 20 miles per hour. In addition, motorists who are traveling at a speed of 100 mph or more can get their licenses revoked for up to six months. 

It is evident that receiving a speeding ticket is costly financially. More importantly, however, at times speeding can be the difference between life and death in a car crash. Do yourself and your fellow drivers a service and go the speed limit. You’ll be more grateful that you arrived home safely rather than returned home quickly.