July was earmarked as crack-down-on speeding month in Minnesota.
If you were looking for a celebrity symbol of recklessness, the Minnesota Vikings’ Jordan Addison would be a prime candidate. The rookie wide receiver, who hails from USC and hasn’t played a regular-season down for the Vikings, was cited for driving 140 mph at 3 a.m. on July 12 in downtown St. Paul. He was behind the wheel of his new Lamborghini Urus, likely purchased with a portion of his early summer signing bonus.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety announced in July that state and local law enforcement agencies had intensified speeding enforcement. By month’s end, these agencies had issued more than 20,000 speeding tickets, setting an all-time monthly record.
“Whether you are late to work, rushing the kids to school or just trying to get home, there is no good excuse for speeding,” said Mike Hansen, director of the Office of Traffic Safety, a division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. “Speed is a major contributing factor to fatal and life-changing crashes. Law enforcement partners worked together to stop speeders from endangering their own lives and the lives of others during a month-long extra speed enforcement and awareness campaign.”
Eden Prairie did its part. The police department issued 367 citations, setting its all-time one-month record. The State Patrol also noted that Eden Prairie had the highest recorded speed, 152 mph, encountered in the state.
According to a police blog post: “At 2 a.m. on July 20, an EPPD officer attempted to stop a car speeding on northbound (Highway) 169. The car did not stop and instead turned off its lights and reached a speed of 152 mph (the fastest speed we believe has ever been recorded by officers in Eden Prairie). The officer called off the pursuit after he lost sight of the vehicle when it exited at Lincoln Drive in Edina. Edina and Eden Prairie officers soon located the car and it fled again. The driver then got stuck in a cul-de-sac and fled on foot. A K-9 team tracked the driver and found him hiding nearby. He was cited for fleeing, reckless driving and speeding.”
Move over, Jordan Addison.
Other highlights included an Eden Prairie officer who saw three vehicles just after midnight on July 9 going west on Interstate 494. They appeared to be racing each other. The officer took note of the license plates and was able to pull all three cars safely to the side of the road by himself. He interviewed each driver, obtained confessions and cited the drivers for reckless driving: racing and speeding over 100 mph.
One hour later, that same officer was near Interstate 494 and Highway 212 when he saw a vehicle driving 98 mph in a 60 mph zone. He pulled the driver over and issued a citation. The driver was also charged with DWI and driving with an expired license.
“I’m proud of how our officers stepped up on this,” said Police Chief Matt Sackett. “Surveys show that public safety is a high priority for our residents. We want people driving in Eden Prairie to know that we will continue to enforce all rules, especially speeding because, of course, speeding kills.”
Did this statewide effort require Eden Prairie to alter its shift schedules for police officers to enforce the effort?
The department added over 30 additional shifts. The expense was covered by a grant the city received from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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