Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Dear Trooper Kathy: I was wondering why everyone in "the cities" drives so fast and out here in "rural Minnesota" we get a ticket if we are going 5 over?
Trooper Kathy says: I wish I had nickel for every time I get asked this question. First of all, although it seems like everyone in the cities is going 80MPH, they are not. There are some that greatly exceed the speed limit and there are many that do not. Those people that do speed actually have developed other bad habits as well. They are more likely to meet a trooper or other law enforcement person, not only because of their speed, but also, improper passing, unsafe lane usage, car crash, etc.
Last year in Minnesota, 72 percent of traffic fatalities were on RURAL ROADS! National highway safety Administration (NHTSA) cites the Following reasons;
The majority of fatalities and serious injuries are due to high-risk behaviors such as impaired driving, speeding and aggressive driving, and failure to use proper safety restraints (including motorcycle helmets). Also listed were cell-phone use, roadside distractions, and "drowsy driving." In addition, they also cited young drivers, with an emphasis on the poor driving practices of young males in rural areas.
Impaired driving: Among the issues addressed were physical and cognitive impairments, especially among mature drivers.
Speeding and aggressive driving: Many states identified this behavior as a leading cause of run-off-the-road crashes. The supporting evidence also suggests that higher speeds result in more severe crashes.
Driver distraction. Particular emphasis was placed on limiting cell-phone use. They also advocated the restriction of other electronic devices.
Failure to use restraints: These included seat belts, as well as child safety seats and motorcycle helmets. Also of concern was the inappropriate installation of child safety seats and other restraints. Each plan included statistics that showed the increased severity of injury when appropriate restraints are not used.
States without primary seat-belt laws advocate enactment of such legislation in their plans. These efforts included expanding part-time "Click-it or Ticket" programs to year-round campaigns. The states also supported increased fines for unbelted drivers.
Most of the plans focused on the lack of seat-belt use in rural areas, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
Seventy-two percent of unbelted people who died after being thrown from a vehicle were traveling in rural areas.
Individuals traveling through rural areas in pick-up trucks were the most likely to be unbelted.
The vast majority of rural crash victims who were intoxicated at the time of the crash were not wearing proper safety restraints.
Teens and young adults in rural areas, particularly male drivers, are less likely to buckle up than their urban counterparts.
If you have any questions regarding traffic safety and/or traffic laws, email her
. Sgt. Pederson will not offer advice on specific situations or real events, which involve law enforcement.