State Patrol extending HEAT patrols through end of 2022

Drivers across the state will see an increase in the number of Minnesota State Patrol troopers as the agency continues to crack down on aggressive drivers.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the Highway Enforcement for Aggressive Traffic program — also referred to as HEAT — will continue for the rest of the calendar year.

As part of the program, troopers work in teams and monitor a specific enforcement area from the road and the air.

“We’ve heard from Minnesotans that they want to see us on the roads and they want us to stop aggressive drivers. Through these patrols around the state, our troopers can do just that,” said Col. Matt Langer, the chief of the Minnesota State Patrol.

Since the HEAT patrols began on Feb. 14 this year, the agency says there have been more than 20,000 traffic stops, with more than 9,190 citations given. Of those citations, the State Patrol says 6,398 were for speeding, 191 arrests were made and 91 of those were for a DWI.

In addition, the Department of Public Safety says overall fatalities are down from this time last year.

Col. Langer says fatalities are down nearly 10% from this time in 2021. Last year, there were 305 deaths reported from Jan. 1 to Aug. 30, while so far this year, 280 deaths were reported in that same timeframe. Out of those, 81 deaths were speed-related in 2022. That number was 117 in 2021.