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St Paul (KROC AM News)  - Minnesota public safety officials are growing increasingly concerned about a growing problem - motorists who put the pedal to the metal.

The state Public Safety Department (which includes the Minnesota State Patrol) has released the results of a recent statewide speed enforcement campaign.

The department says at least 15 people were killed during the June 22 - July 19th period in wrecks involving speeding. That’s twice the number recorded during enforcement campaigns from the past four years. 

The department also says there were more citations involving a recent phenomenon on Minnesota roads - motorists caught driving in excess of 100 mph. At least 40 reports were received during the enforcement campaign, including one person who was clocked at 141 mph in Blaine.

State troopers and local officers began noticing a sudden increase in motorists caught driving over 100 mph during the spring, shortly after the COVID-19 stay-at-home order took effect. More than a dozen of those tickets were issued in Olmsted County.

According to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety blog, when the drivers were asked why they were speeding, “many of them said they thought that law enforcement would no longer be making traffic stops because of the pandemic – a patent misperception.”

The blog also notes:
“During the stay at home order this spring, Minnesota Department of Transportation stats indicated vehicle miles traveled in Minnesota dropped by 50 to 60 percent, while fatal traffic crashes, according to the Office of Traffic Safety, were up 100 percent in one three-week time period compared to the same time period in 2019.”

(story includes information from Minnesota News Network)

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