'Having a bad day' among Minnesota drivers' excuses for speeding, DPS reports

Drivers have some far-fetched excuses for speeding, and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety recently shared some of the top excuses law enforcement officers have heard this year, including "having a bad day." 

Other excuses were: 

  • It’s a hybrid, and I can’t hear the engine
  • Mistakenly had driven two hours the wrong direction and was supposed to be in Wayzata
  • Arguing over the phone with her mom regarding fast food and didn’t realize her speed
  • In a hurry to run some errands before my bridal shower
  • Going down a hill
  • Cruise is broken
  • Gas light is on and trying to get to a gas station
  • Need to get to a restroom (after passing two exits)

DPS’s July speed campaign just wrapped up and officers, deputies and troopers from 294 agencies across Minnesota issued 17,205 speeding citations during that time period. That’s more than the 16,122 citations issued during last year’s speed campaign, but fewer than the 21,439 issued in 2019. 

Speed-related fatalities and serious injuries in July were up compared to the previous four years, DPS data shows. There have been 94 speed-related fatalities since the start of the year, up from 67 in 2020 and greater than the five-year average of 62 deaths. As of July 31, there had been 257 speed-related fatalities this year so far. There were 250 speeding-related serious injuries in July, more than the five-year average of 222. 

Fifty-five agencies reported drivers going speeds of over 100 miles per hour during the July speed campaign. The highest speed was 131 miles per hour, reported by state troopers in the St. Cloud area. 

DPS says drivers should keep a three-second following distance to allow for safe stopping and reaction to other vehicles. Officials say it takes more than the length of a football field to stop when traveling at 60 miles per hour.