St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - It has been another deadly week on Minnesota roads.

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According to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, preliminary numbers show there have been 16 traffic fatalities on Minnesota roads since Saturday. The 16 deaths since Saturday brings the total number of traffic fatalities this year to 254, and compared to the 194 reported at the same time last year, is a 31 percent increase.

The 254 deaths continue to be the highest year-to-date numbers in the last five years.

Contributing Factors

Speed-related traffic deaths continue to be the largest contributing factor in fatal traffic crashes, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The 91 speed-related deaths this year compare with 64 this time last year. That’s a 42 percent increase from this time last year and nearly a 150 percent increase from this time in 2019.

Unbelted fatalities contributed to 52 deaths so far in 2021 compared with 54 this time last year.

Motorcycle fatalities have also spiked in recent weeks with 40 fatalities compared with 29 reported this time last year. That’s a 38 percent increase.

Extra Speed Patrols On Minnesota Roads

There are extra law enforcement agencies across the state that are focusing on slowing down speeding motorists through the end of July. The extra patrols come on the heels of a deadly 2020 where speed-related deaths (122) were the most since 2008 (125).

The Minnesota State Patrol has cited 44,967 motorists for speeding through July 8th with 646 tickets written for speeds of 100 mph or more.

Extra Patrols for Impaired Driving

Alcohol-related crashes contribute to an average of 304 life-changing injuries each year. Extra patrols run from August 20th through September 6th. 6. In 2020, numbers show 131 people died from drunk driving-related crashes, compared with 136 people in 2011, a 4 percent decline.

The 25 Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Minnesota using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.