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Ready for extra police patrols?

Think speeding is a harmless crime? You might be surprised at the cost in lives and economic potential.

In Becker County, the economic impact was pegged at about $28 million for deaths and accidents related to crashes from 2009 to 2011.

Four of 15 crash deaths were speed-related, and 8 of 42 severe injuries were due to speeding during that time frame, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Speeders will be targeted in a five-day enforcement blitz starting Monday in Detroit Lakes and Becker County.

From 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, extra officers will be on patrol in the high-visibility campaign, said Detroit Lakes Police Sgt. Robert Strand.

Grant money is being used to pay for the extra enforcement, and the hours of operation are set by the terms of the grant, Strand said.

“We’ll target different areas of the county as well as the city,” he said.

With the start of tubing on the Ottertail River, look for extra enforcement on Highway 34 as well.

“We’ll be kind enough to tip you off where we’re going to be, usually — I can guarantee on Friday, Saturday and Sunday you’ll see us on Highway 34,” he said.

The extra police presence will come courtesy of a statewide Safe and Sober grant, and law enforcement officers in Frazee, Lake Park and Audubon will participate along with Detroit Lakes officers and Becker County deputies.

The least expensive speeding ticket in Becker County will cost you $125, Strand said.

A DUI will bring a fine of at least $500 and the loss of driving privileges for 90 days.

“Plan ahead, use a designated driver,” Strand said.

If you don’t want to get pulled over, make sure all lights on your vehicle are working properly, and that there’s nothing hanging from your rear-view mirror.

Any of those infractions “gives us a chance to make contact with you,” Strand said.

In Otter Tail County, seven of 38 crash deaths were caused by speeding, as were 14 of 64 serious injuries from 2009-11. The economic impact of those crashes was nearly $65 million.

In Hubbard County, three of 13 crash deaths were blamed on speeding, as were two of 20 serious injuries from 2009-11. The economic impact of those crashes was set at more than $22 million.

In Mahnomen County, two of five crash deaths were caused by excessive speed, as were four of eight serious injuries from 2009-11. The economic impact of those crashes was set at nearly $10 million.

Statewide, more than 250 deaths were caused by speeding, as were 689 serious injuries, and the economic impact of those accidents from 2009-11 was pegged at more than $2.1 billion.