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Local law enforcement tallies 45 speeding tickets

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Driving at unsafe and illegal speeds is a leading crash death factor and accounts for around 80 traffic deaths annually in Minnesota.

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Across the state, July 6-21, 328 law enforcement agencies took part in speed enforcement efforts, citing 17,415 motorists for driving at illegal or unsafe speeds.

Locally, 45 citations were issued during the two-week speed enforcement:

• Alexandria Police Department: 20 citations; highest speed recorded: 60 in 55 mile per hour (mph) zone

• Osakis Police Department: 6 citations; highest speed recorded: 70 mph

• Douglas County Sheriff's Office: 19 citations; highest speed recorded: 71 mph

"With traffic deaths surging in 2013, this enforcement campaign provided an opportunity to help create a safer driving environment on our roads by encouraging motorists to change their driving behaviors," said Donna Berger, director of the Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety. "If not corrected, those behaviors play a key role in a large number of serious and fatal crashes we see each year."

Agencies cited at least 12 motorists for traveling more than 100 mph; one person was clocked at 148 mph.

An average speeding citation for 10 mph over the limit is typically more than $120. Motorists stopped at 20 mph over the speed limit face double the fine, and those ticketed traveling more than 100 mph can lose their license for six months.

STATE STATS

• Minnesota surpassed the 200-traffic-death mark in late July, nearly one month ahead of the 2012 pace.

• At the current pace, experts project 450 traffic deaths for 2013, 55 more than the 395 deaths in 2012.

• August 1 marked the five-year anniversaries of the state's "no texting and driving" law and enhancements to the teen graduated driver's licensing law.

Source: MN Dept. of Public Safety Office of Traffic safety

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