St. Paul (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota State Patrol will be conducting high-intensity patrols throughout this summer focusing on the deadliest traffic violations.

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More people travel on Minnesota’s roads during the summer months for vacations, family road trips, and outdoor activities.

In an effort to help keep Minnesotans safe on the road, the state patrol is launching Project 20(22). The state patrol is conducting high-intensity patrols focusing on speed, lack of seat belt use, distraction, and impairment. These patrols will be over five weekends in May through September.

As of May 8th, there have been 95 traffic-related deaths on Minnesota roadways this year:

• 26 were speed-related fatalities
• 14 were impairment-related
• 8 were distraction-related
• 24 were unbelted deaths

“We care about traffic safety all across Minnesota and want to stop the horrific increase in traffic deaths that struck Minnesota families the past two years,” said Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol. “This project allows our troopers to have a visible presence and protect motorists during busy times on our roads. Our message remains simple: buckle up, drive the speed limit, plan a sober ride and never drive impaired, and always pay attention.”

Image Credit: Minnesota State Patrol via Twitter
Image Credit: Minnesota State Patrol via Twitter

The project was initially created as Project 20 in October 1979 and operated through October 1982. The project was designed to help stop dangerous driving behaviors.  The State Patrol and Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety worked together to bring it back as a statewide Toward Zero Deaths initiative.

State Patrol districts across Minnesota will dedicate specific weekends to high-intensity patrols starting Friday, May 13. Troopers will work in the same teams of 16 Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Select Weekends of Minnesota State Patrol's Regional Focus

  • May 13, 14, 15  -  Hwy 371/Hwy 169 Little Falls to Walker
    *fishing opener weekend
  • June 24, 25, 26 - Twin Cities Metro Freeways
  • July 15, 16, 17 - Twin Cities Metro Freeways
  • August 5, 6,7 - I-35 Pine City to Duluth
  • September 16, 17, 18 - I-94, Moorhead to Rogers

Minnesota reached 488 traffic fatalities (preliminary) across the state in 2021, the highest number since 2007 when there were 510 traffic deaths.

“While fewer motorists have lost their lives so far in 2022 compared with recent years at this time, any traffic deaths are too many,” the state patrol said in a news release. “Bad driving choices are still leading to tragic results for Minnesota families.”

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