MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some drivers are using the stay-at-home order as a chance to open up on the road. The Minnesota State Patrol has issued more than three times the amount of citations for drivers going 100-plus compared to this time last year. And troopers warn these drivers are putting others in danger.

It’s happening across the country. Drivers caught speeding, racing on the road. And super speeders are right here in Minnesota.

Last month police estimate some 400 cars participated in street racing in Mendota Heights. But the State Patrol says the larger issue is a single car on the road, putting others at risk.

In the first 2 and a half weeks of Minnesota’s stay-at-home order, troopers stopped 78 people going 100 plus.

“People have taken advantage of the open roads and we want to make sure that’s not what this is for,” Lt. Gordon Shank said.

In the past drivers offered excuses like they were running late or were on their way to work. But Shank says during the pandemic there’s a different reason they’re stepping on the gas.

“Some people are just going faster. Some people have said they’re going on joyrides,” Shank said.

The top speed was a 26-year-old man stopped going 128 mph in a 65 zone in Shakopee.

Shank says speeding decreases reaction time and drivers’ decisions can have a ripple effect during this health emergency.

“You’re also risking essential workers that are trying to get to work. Those people have to get to work but if you’re crashing into them you prevent someone that could be helping somebody else at a hospital. You’re also risking tying up those hospital beds for those that may need it for COVID issues,” Shank said.

His advice is to slow down, watch your speed and help everyone get where they’re going safely.

According to the State Patrol, speed was the contributing factor in 30% of fatal crashes since March.

Jennifer Mayerle

Comments