Updated: 05/26/2014 5:18 PM
Created: 05/26/2014 3:11 PM KSTP.com
By: Brandi Powell
It's the unofficial start to summer, and that's also the start to a deadly season on Minnesota roads.
Our Brandi Powell went on a "ride-along" with a state trooper - to get a firsthand look at dangers on the roads.
Memorial day is a busy day for us, as far as traffic stops for speed, DWI, inattentive driving, and not wearing their seatbelts," said Minnesota State Trooper Tyler Uthe.
We were inside the patrol car with Trooper Uthe, as he patrolled the West Metro, on Memorial Day.
Uthe says stats show before traffic hits, drivers have a tendency to speed.
And more motorcycles are on the road.
Uthe happened to clock a motorcyclist -- who turned out to be a veteran -- going 17 miles over the speed limit, on westbound I-394.
"You were going too fast back by Lousiana,"Uthe said. "How fast was I going?" asked Adam Boland, a two-time Iraq War veteran and Wayzata resident. "I clocked you right at 73 mph right as you passed under the bridge there," Uthe said.
Boland agreed to speak with us. "I was just coming back from Fort Snelling, actually down at the Memorial services," Boland said.
"Did you realize you were speeding?" Powell asked. "No," Boland replied. "I was just kind of cruising along, listening to the music, just enjoying the day."
"How do you feel that you got pulled over?" Powell asked. "They're just doing their job."
And Trooper Uthe's job this Memorial Day, is to make sure drivers are safe.
And back at State Patrol's West Metro District Office: "Are your senses heightened, because it's Memorial Day, in terms of what you're looking for?" Powell asked. "This day, this weekend in particular, we are heavily enforcing DWI enforcement and seat belt enforcement," Uthe said.
They're urging drivers to be vigilant.
State Patrol stats reveal there were fewer DWIs and crashes in 2013 than there were in 2012.
Troopers hope that number decreases again, this year.
And based on five-year-averages, they expect to see about five fatalities Memorial Day weekend and six serious injuries.