Owatonna Police Say, ‘Drive Smart: Slow Down’
How much is it worth to you to speed? Law enforcement agencies across Minnesota are engaged in a crackdown on speeders through July 19. A news release from the Owatonna Police Department indicates that "overall fatal crashes and fatalities from March 16-May 31 increased over last year despite reduced traffic."
Financial consequences could include citations of $100 or more plus court fees and increased insurance rates. A crash could result in criminal or civil penalties.
Mike Hanson with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety states, "The open roads due to reduced traffic doesn't give anyone a license to speed. Fewer vehicles on the road doesn't mean less danger. And now with more vehicles on the road, going the speed limit and slowing down are critical to us all coming home to our loved ones at the end of the day."
The number of drivers exceeding 100 miles per hour has skyrocketed. From the start of April through May 21, Minnesota State Patrol pulled over 232 drivers for traveling that fast, which is more than double compared to the same period in 2019.
The media release says, "To help put the brakes on speed-related deaths and educate motorists, officers, deputies and troopers will work overtime shifts June 22 through July 19."
Statistics indicate speed-related fatalities are on the increase. Between 2010 and 2014, 22-percent of all serious injuries were speed-related. From 2015 through 2019, that increased to 27-percent.
The Owatonna Police Department offers advice to anyone who encounters an aggressive driver.
- Get out of the way, move to the right if possible.
- Stay calm.
- Don't challenge them.
- Avoid eye contact.
- Ignore gestures. Don't return them.
- Report them with vehicle description, license plate number, and location.