DPS: 2020 had most speed-related driving deaths in over decade

More people died in speed-related crashes in Minnesota last year than in any other year in more than a decade.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, preliminary reports indicate 120 people died in speed-related crashes in 2020, the most since there were 125 deaths in 2008. It’s also a 62% increase over the 75 speed-related deaths in 2019.

Only two years in the past decade have had more than 100 speed-related deaths: 2020 and 2018. The average per year, from 2010-2020, is 89 speed-related deaths.

The Minnesota State Patrol also reported a 100% increase in citations to drivers going more than 100 mph, last year. DPS said troopers wrote 1,068 citations for driving over 100 mph, compared to 533 in 2019. The top speed that a driver was cited for was 153 mph.

DPS said the cost for speeding violations vary by county but typically cost more than $110 with court fees for traveling just 10 mph over the speed limit. Fines double for going 20 mph over the speed limit, and drivers who travel more than 100 mph or more can lose their license for six months.

In an effort to reduce the number of speeding drivers, DPS is working with the State Patrol and local police and sheriff’s departments on a new enforcement campaign.

"We’re taking a multi-agency, concerted effort with law enforcement and traffic safety partners statewide because speeding is the one bad decision that makes every other driving mistake worse," Mike Hanson, Office of Traffic Safety director, said. "Too often we see crashes from distracted or impaired driving where speed turns a minor crash into a fatal or life-changing event for those involved. We all need to drive smart by going the speed limit or driving to the conditions of the road, especially in the winter. If we all do our part, we can get home safely to our families at the end of the day."