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Rush hour? Weekends? When are Minn. drivers most likely to get a ticket?

ST. PAUL — Minnesota roads have the most cars in the morning and evening rush hours. But that's not when the State Patrol writes the most tickets.

Though troopers do plenty of speed enforcement between 7 and 9 a.m. and 3 and 6 p.m. on weekdays, drivers are most likely to get a ticket in off-peak hours. The 10 a.m. hour and the 1 to 3 p.m. stretch have the most tickets on weekdays.

"Rush-hour traffic is a problem for speed enforcement," said Col. Matt Langer, the chief of the State Patrol. "Trying to do speed enforcement during periods of high traffic volume, morning rush hour or afternoon rush hour is more difficult and sometimes more dangerous."

It's also a lot harder to speed through rush hour congestion than it is on open roads.

"You can catch your occasional speeder (in rush hour)," said veteran Trooper Jack Tiegs. "They're trying to move through traffic, changing lanes, finding small gaps and trying to keep their speed up. You can see that occasionally. But for the most part, it's really tough during rush-hour traffic."

Troopers have also written more tickets on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays over the past three years than they have on other days of the week. Langer said this is for a similar reason: It's easier to speed and easier to catch speeders with free-flowing weekend traffic.

While weekday tickets peak around 2 p.m., weekend tickets follow a different pattern. The largest number of Saturday and Sunday citations are issued between 4 and 6 p.m.

The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.

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