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State Police put more patrols on the road as speeding citations increase

Framingham, MA, 04/25/2019 -- A Massachusetts State Police Trooper casts a shadow on a backdrop during a press conference held to announce Luna, the first-ever comfort dog for The Massachusetts State Police.  (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)

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Framingham, MA, 04/25/2019 -- A Massachusetts State Police Trooper casts a shadow on a backdrop during a press conference held to announce Luna, the first-ever comfort dog for The Massachusetts State Police. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff) Topic: 26lunapic Reporter:Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

State Police are deploying additional units to keep an eye on dangerous drivers as speeding citations have ramped up in recent weeks, officials said.

On April 25, State Police implemented a “speed reduction initiative,” putting more patrols on the road to watch for speeding drivers, according to State Police spokesman David Procopio. Troopers have written 271 citations for speeding and issued 111 warnings to drivers since it began.

“We have indeed seen an uptick in higher speeds and have undertaken action to interdict it,” Procopio said in a statement. “Troopers have encountered and taken action against several motorists driving at extremely high speeds, some at speeds over 100 mph.”

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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation reported Monday that the rate of fatalities on Massachusetts roadways doubled in April. The MassDOT stated with 50% less traffic recorded on major highways, 28 individuals died in crashes, compared with the month of April 2019 when there were 27 deaths on roadways in the state.

Officials said the high fatality rate last month, underscores the importance of not exceeding the posted speed limit, wearing a seatbelt, driving sober, and obeying the hands-free law.

Troopers have also issued 13 citations to drivers violating the hands-free driving law, 12 citations to drivers who failed to move over for emergency service vehicles, and 11 citations to drivers not wearing a seatbelt since April 25, Procopio said. Another 73 citations have been issued for miscellaneous traffic offenses.

The numbers account only for the additional patrols on the road, Procopio said. They do not reflect citations issued by troopers who would normally be on duty.

Matt Berg can be reached at matthew.berg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattberg33.