MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota transportation and public basic safety officials on Monday introduced a website traffic enforcement crackdown and awareness campaign amid a spike in fatalities relevant to dashing throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Community security, transportation and health and fitness officers collected for a news conference to announce the marketing campaign, which will involve training and outreach about the potential risks of speeding in addition to extra enforcement. The campaign — which commenced final thirty day period with a partnership concerning the Workplace of Targeted visitors Safety and the Condition Patrol — will grow this month to include hundreds of area legislation enforcement agencies across the state.

“I think there’s of course much less visitors, roads are significantly less congested so there’s far more lane space for drivers to use and rather honestly abuse,” Office of Targeted traffic Protection Director Mike Hanson explained to reporters. “I believe there is also a major misperception out there that simply because of COVID and some other difficulties, law enforcement is not actively operating visitors any longer — absolutely nothing could be even further from the truth.”

Hanson said that as fewer drivers frequented streets final year mainly because of the pandemic, the state noticed a 12% boost in speed-related deaths. The Point out Patrol issued much more than 1,000 dashing citations previous calendar year to drivers going additional than 100 miles (160 kilometers) for each hour — almost double the sum in 2019.