Summertime sees an increase in temperatures, as well as an increase in speeding motorists. Law enforcement agencies in Isanti County are conducting increased speed patrols, July 10-27, as part of a statewide speed enforcement effort.
The campaign aims to combat a leading factor in deadly traffic crashes. 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 at least one fatality in Isanti County and 235 traffic deaths statewide.
In Isanti County an average speeding citation for 10 mph over the limit is more than $100. 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, Isanti County TZD Coordinator. “July is always one of our deadliest months 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.
- Less time available for driver response for crash avoidance.
- Increased crash severity leading to more numerous and severe injuries.
Did you know that a motorist traveling at 65 miles per hour compared to 55 mph will save only 1 minute and 41 seconds on a 10 mile trip? More than twice as many speed-related fatal crashes occur on rural roads than major urban roads.
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 County Toward Zero Deaths program. Bollenbeck says 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
Bollenbeck also says 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. Bollenbeck says 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 for motorists to look twice for riders — especially at intersections — because motorcycles are smaller, their speeds and distance can be harder to gauge.