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Ask a Trooper: What does State Patrol think about raising speed limits on some 2-lane roads?

Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Patrol

Q: What is the State Patrol's perspective on raising the speed limit on certain two-lane roads from 55 mph to 60 mph? As a law enforcement agency, you're concerned about speeders, so is this a potential safety issue?

A: As troopers, we patrol the roads 24 hours a day, and it's troubling how some drivers seem pretty nonchalant about how fast they're driving. People may feel confident about their driving skills, and especially when the skies are clear, roads are dry and you're cruising on the open road, it's tempting to drive too fast.

Tragically, we see the carnage, heartache and statistics from those bad choices. Speeding in Minnesota and across the country is one of the top behaviors claiming the lives of too many people. In 2017, 25 percent of fatalities in the state were related to speed.

Thankfully, we know that establishing speed limits and enforcing the law help to save lives. Here's what Col. Matt Langer, Chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, has to say about the Minnesota Department of Transportation's decision to increase speed limits on certain roads statewide:

"The Minnesota State Patrol relies on the expertise of the Minnesota Department of Transportation to set speed limits based on road design and other factors. Law enforcement will hold drivers accountable when they exceed those limits. Drivers who disregard posted speed limits, don't drive according to existing conditions or drive aggressively are making the selfish choice that their time is more precious than the lives of others on the road.

"The reality is their time and life could forever end if they get into a crash."

Send your questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota to trooper@duluthnews.com or Sgt. Neil Dickenson — Minnesota State Patrol at 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN 55811.

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