After seeing traffic fatalities on highways jump by nearly 40 percent in the first four months of 2024, the Minnesota State Patrol is cracking down on speeding on rural roads.

The patrol has launched the Rural Speed Reduction Project, which will see an increased presence of troopers on high-risk rural highways this spring and summer in the hopes of cutting back on the number of fatal crashes.

So far, 116 fatalities have been reported on Minnesota highways this year, compared to just 84 at this time in 2023. Of those deaths this year, 31 have been classified as speed-related.

The increased focus on rural roads comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 87 percent of all speed-related traffic deaths in the U.S. occurred on non-interstate roads in 2022.

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One week into Minnesota's Rural Speed Reduction Project, 1,511 traffic stops have been initiated statewide with 1,246 speeding tickets issued.

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