By Associated Press - Monday, July 28, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Getting caught speeding through a road construction work zone is about to get more costly in Minnesota.

Starting Friday, the offense comes with an automatic $300 fine plus the normal traffic ticket surcharges. That’s under a new state law approved during the legislative session.

Officials from the Department of Transportation, a highway contractor and the State Patrol planned a news conference Monday to highlight the change. They hope the steeper penalty will serve as a deterrent.

From 2010 through 2013, there were 31 fatalities in work-zone crashes, according to the Minnesota transportation department. There were more than 7,200 work-zone crashes in that span.

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