DPS urges drivers to slow down as number of 100 mph citations rises

Authorities say more drivers are clocking in at over 100 miles per hour on Minnesota’s highways. It’s that kind of dangerous driving that’s leading to more deadly crashes.

"We’re on the on-ramp to a bad road, so to speak, with our traffic fatalities. And that is a great concern to us at the Department of Public Safety," said Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety Control Director Mike Hanson.

By the numbers, in just about a one-month period starting mid-June, 40 agencies across Minnesota reported ticketing for speeds of 100 mph or more. One department caught a driver going 141 mph.

"I worked as a trooper for over 33 years, and for us to write a violation of over 100 mph, it was kind of a deal. And it was something that you kind of remember," said Hanson. "There are troopers, officers and deputies now that are counting, one, two or three, over 100 mph violations per shift."

This year already, there have been 72 motorists killed in speed-related crashes in Minnesota, compared with the 45 killed in speed-related crashes at this time last year.

It may be unexpected, but the pandemic is one of many factors causing some drivers’ "need for speed."

"There was a lot more available lane space for drivers to use, quite honestly, to abuse," said Hanson. "So the lack of congestion, the lack of traffic, more lane space, and I think this is an important consideration as well. There was a huge, and continues to be a significant misperception out there, because of COVID and everything, that law enforcement isn’t working traffic. And nothing could be further from the truth."

Drivers can lose their license for six months when caught going 100 mph or more. Fines also can be more than $110 for speeding.