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Pioneer Editorial: No need for speed

With the arrival of warmer weather and clear roads, Minnesota officials aim to educate and reduce drivers' practice of speeding.

But it's not just a statewide issue.

In Beltrami County, numerous people have joined forces for a Toward Zero Deaths mission aimed at eliminating traffic fatalities.

The mission includes education, enforcement of laws, engineering improvements and emergency medical and trauma services.

Traffic statistics for our area show work needs to be done.

Last year, there were 471 crashes last year in Beltrami County, up from 455 in 2010. Each year saw five people die in automobile accidents.

While not all are directly attributed to speed, it often plays a factor in many crashes and deaths. And driving faster creates greater forces in a collision, so the risk of serious injury is greater when vehicles travel faster than posted limits.

In nearby counties, Hubbard and Cass counties each reported three speed-related deaths from 2008-2010. The counties had 12 and 19 traffic deaths, respectively, during the three-year span. Clearwater County reported two traffic deaths.

It's clear local officials are on the right path in aiming to reduce fatalities on our roadways.