Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Motorists may have seen extra law enforcement on area roads Friday evening as the agencies teamed up for a patrol campaign for motorists.

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According to a news release from the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, local law enforcement agencies had the 'Dying to get home' campaign, led by the sheriffs in Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted Rice, Steele, Wabasha, and Winona counties. Extra enforcement was on area roads Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. in an effort to prevent a tragic end to summer fun.

Olmsted County Sheriff's Office photo
Olmsted County Sheriff's Office photo

“Whether you plan to celebrate Labor Day weekend at the lake, at the cabin, or in the backyard, we want everyone to make it home safely. Traffic crashes and the resulting fatalities and injuries are preventable,” says Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson. “Speeding is a significant problem statewide. Enforcing that law and all traffic laws for the primary contributors to traffic fatalities, including impaired driving, no seat belts and distraction, is critical to saving lives.”

The goal of the campaign was to protect Minnesotans on the road by encouraging safe driving choices and stopping dangerous driving behaviors.

According to the news release from the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, the state reported its 300th traffic death on August 29th, and that is the earliest date the state reached 300 traffic fatalities since 2007. Last year, preliminary reports show 122 motorists died in speed-related crashes, the most since 2008 (125). The 394 traffic fatalities in 2020 are the most in five years.

“We rely on each other to keep our neighbors safe,” said Sheriff Torgerson. “Speeding throughout our communities and region is a dangerous game that risks the lives of everyone you care about. Speeding might seem harmless and the easiest way to get to a destination quickly. But the next time you speed, remember, crashing your car could lead to losing the ones you love most and change countless lives forever.”

Frightening Speeds Lead to Increased Citations

The Minnesota State Patrol has seen an alarming increase in speeding and the number of drivers going 100 mph or more. Through Aug. 26 of this year, the state patrol has issued 58,074 speeding citations statewide compared with 52,503 at that time last year. They issued 833 citations statewide for 100 mph or more compared with 712 at that time last year.

Area agencies want to remind motorists to drive safe this holiday weekend and to avoid speeding risks while traveling.

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