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State Patrol launches summer weekend enforcement initiative

The Minnesota State Patrol launched a high-intensity patrol during the Brainerd Lakes Area Fishing Opening Weekend, and soldiers throughout the summer will target an area each weekend. end to suppress deadly driving behavior.

The initiative, dubbed Project 20(22), aims to stop motorists for speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and driving distracted or impaired, according to a press release. The application will span five weekends until mid-September. Two of those weekends will focus on the Twin Cities, which are already seeing increased enforcement with Patrol and the BCA to help Minneapolis police as they reel from officer shortages and a increasing crime that accompanies warmer weather.

“This project allows our soldiers to have a visible presence and protect motorists during peak periods on our roads,” Col. Matt Langer said in the statement. “Our message is simple: Fasten your seatbelt, obey the speed limit, plan for sober driving, never drive impaired and always be careful.”

On the opening weekend of the fishery, a team of soldiers stopped nearly 900 vehicles between Little Falls and Walker on Hwys. 371 and 169. About 600 drivers were speeding, including a 16-year-old cited for going 102 mph in a 65 zone. Troopers made 14 drunk driving arrests.

Project 20 (22), which was first established in 1979 as “Project 20” and later renamed as a statewide initiative Toward Zero Deaths, will focus on Twin Cities the last weekend of June and the second weekend of July. Soldiers will then focus on Interstate 35 between Pine City and Duluth the first weekend in August. The final supplemental enforcement weekend falls on September 16 between Moorhead and Rogers on Interstate 94.

The State Patrol said that in 2021, 488 people died on Minnesota roads – the deadliest year since 2007, when the state recorded 510 road deaths. So far this year, fewer motorists have lost their lives compared to recent years. As of May 8, there were 95 traffic-related deaths, according to the patrol.

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