The posted speed is the speed limit, and the Isanti County Toward Zero Deaths Coalition is emphasizing the need to drive at safe speeds through accelerated speed patrols June 16-20.
The enforcement and education effort is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.
Unsafe and illegal speed is the most commonly reported contributing factor in fatal crashes. During 2011–2013, speed was a contributing factor in two fatalities in Isanti County and 235 traffic deaths statewide.
In Isanti County, an average speeding citation for 10 mph over the limit is generally at least $125.
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.
“Blue skies and clear roads doesn’t mean it’s safer to travel at fast, dangerous speeds,” said Bob Bollenbeck, TZD Coordinator. “Summer is our deadliest season on the road and this campaign aims to pull over motorists who are driving too fast and aggressively.”
Consequences of Speeding
Isanti County TZD cites these dangers of speeding:
- Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.
- Increased stopping distance – it takes more than the length of a football field to stop when traveling 60 mph.
- Less time available for driver response for crash avoidance.
- Increased crash severity leading to more numerous and severe injuries.
Isanti TZD reports that a motorist traveling at 65 mph compared to 55 mph will save only 1 minute and 41 seconds on a 10 mile trip.
Approximately twice as many speed-related fatal crashes occur on rural roads than major urban roads.
Several fatal and serious crashes have occurred on Isanti County roads in recent months.
Are You an Aggressive Driver?
Aggressive driving traits — such as tailgating, unsafe passing, running lights and weaving in and out of traffic — are another safety concern of Isanti TZD.
Bollenbeck said motorists confronted by aggressive drivers should get out of their way, stay calm, do not challenge them and avoid eye contact. Motorists may also report aggressive driving and should be prepared to provide vehicle description, license number and location.
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 mph.
Look Twice for Motorcyclists
Another safety concern in July is the record-high number of motorcyclists on the road.
Bollenbeck said a major factor in rider deaths are 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. He stresses motorists should look twice for riders — especially at intersections — because motorcycles are smaller, their speeds and distance can be harder to gauge.
Extra speed enforcement and education efforts are a part of the Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety Toward Zero Deaths 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 four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.