New conditions will make road conditions in Minnesota worse by Monday, according to a road condition monitor.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported Thursday that the conditions in Minneapolis-St. Paul area have become more dangerous due to the traffic generated by road warrior drivers.
Drivers are driving through “traffic jams, and they’re just not paying attention,” said Melissa Fritsch, the state transportation department’s road condition manager.
Fritsch said the conditions are so bad that motorists need to make changes to their driving habits.
Drives will be delayed and will need to be stopped, she said.
Fritz Epps, an associate professor of engineering at the University of Minnesota, said drivers need to understand that their vehicle is traveling at higher speeds than they normally would.
“If you’re not paying enough attention, it’s going to be dangerous,” Epps said.
Mark Dayton, a Republican, has called on the state to improve the conditions, which have been described as the worst they have been in decades.
He said he would look into the possibility of a state-wide toll on driving to raise money for road maintenance.
Driving has been a big driver of economic growth in Minnesota over the past few decades, but the economy has been sluggish as the population has shrunk.
The state’s unemployment rate stood at 7.5 percent in February.
Dayton said in February that the unemployment rate could reach 9 percent if current trends continue.
The highway conditions are particularly concerning for drivers, who earn less than $30,000 a year, according the state.
The department also reported that the number of crashes involving drivers with traffic tickets had jumped to 11,931 in February, the highest level in two years.
The number of drivers with tickets dropped to just over 1 million in February from 2.7 million in January.
The number of citations for traffic violations fell to 1.8 million from 3.5 million in 2015.