Although there are fewer drivers on the road because of the Stay At Home orders put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19, that doesn’t mean that everything is smooth sailing on Minnesota roads. Fewer cars on the road make it easier to navigate traffic, but it also appears that it’s leading to a significant increase in lead foot driving.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, they have seen a significant increase in the number of tickets they have written for individuals traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour. Between March 27 and April 13 of last year, State Patrol troopers issued 22 citations for traveling over 100 miles per hour. Over that same stretch this year, they wrote 78 such tickets.
“Reduced traffic on Minnesota roads does not give drivers a license to speed or drive aggressively,” said State Patrol spokesman Lt. Gordon Shank. “The Minnesota State Patrol is extremely concerned about the excessive speeds we’ve recently seen on our roads. Increased speeds result in a greater risk for serious injury or death in a traffic crashes. Drive smart and let’s make sure hospital beds are available for those dealing with COVID-19.”
Bad Driving Behaviors
Citation data was available for some of the traffic stops. Here’s a look at some of the more eye-opening numbers:
- Five vehicles were stopped in southeastern Minnesota on April 6th for traveling at excessive speeds. They were clocked going 108 mph in a 65 mph zone, 100 in a 65, 99 in a 65 and 97 in a 55.
- A man in southwestern Minnesota was clocked going nearly double the speed limit when he was caught doing 114 mph in a 60 mph zone.
- Three drivers were caught in Hennepin County on April 11 for driving at excessive speeds, with the fastest driver clocked at 122 mph.
- A trooper near Alexandria cited a driver for going 97 in a 70 mph. 20 minutes later, the same driver was cited for going 91 in a 70 mph zone.
While DUIs may have significantly decreased as fewer drivers hit the road, it may be surprising to learn that more fatal traffic accidents have occurred than normal in the last month, and speed has played a role in many of them.
Excessive speeding cases are difficult to win because the police may appear to have an airtight case if they catch you on their radar, but there’s a lot more too these cases than a simple radar gauge. We’re very good at challenging excessive speeding cases and we’ve even had some high profile cases dropped by the prosecution because of our ability to argue the laws and the facts. If you’re facing an excessive speeding or reckless driving charge, contact Appelman Law Firm to see what we can do. When your license and insurance premiums are on the line, you need an experienced lawyer in your corner. Contact our office for a free case review today.