Law enforcement stepping up speed patrols

ALBERT LEA, Minn. – A ticket for going ten miles over the speed limit can run you $120, but the penalty could be much worse.

According to the Department of Public Safety, one in five fatal crashes is caused by speed. That is the most commonly reported factor.

So area law enforcement is making sure they are bringing speeders to a halt, not the hospital.

Rich Oliphant lives at the corner of Clark St. and 1st Ave. N. in Albert Lea.

“It’s a speedway at times,” Oliphant said.

He said the speed limit may be 30 miles per hour, but drivers seem to take it a little faster than they should. That does not mix well with people he said who are not stopping at the 1st Ave. stop sign.

“We’ve had four or five accidents a year on this corner, so it’s a little scary,” Oliphant said.

He has even had a driver crash into the front of his house in the past.

“Either a stop sign or a speed bump or something that would slow them down I think would help,” Oliphant said.

But police hope they can do their part to slow them down. This week Albert Lea police and others around the state are stepping up enforcement for those with a heavy pedal foot.

“With the summertime, motorcycles out, the cars, nice weather, everybody starts getting up their speed a little bit more and we’re trying to draw attention to everybody’s speed now and to get everybody to slow down,” said Lt. Jeff Strom with the Albert Lea Police Department.

They are deploying a few different techniques to do that.

“A speed truck that we deploy around town with a digital display of somebody’s speed. We put that in problem areas around town to try and get vehicles to slow down. Whatever we can do to bring people’s attention to speed and to slow down for the summertime,” Strom said.

Oliphant said he is glad to see the extra enforcement on area roads.

“They cruise through here on a fairly regular basis, never at the right time it seems,” he said laughing.

Strom said that even if there is not an officer near one of the digital signs, people tend to slow down if they notice that they are speeding. He said the department is working to get a few permanent ones around town to help with that.

Strom said it is also important to make sure you are looking out for motorcycles this time of year. July is the month that tends to have the most motorcycles on the road, so it is important to remember that more bikers are continuing working their way out onto the roads.

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