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Minnesota roads see 12 traffic fatalities in 10 day period

Thu, Mar 13th, 2014
Posted in All State of Minnesota

ST. PAUL – At least 12 people were killed on Minnesota roads since February 28, according to preliminary reports from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Since January 1, 51 people have died on Minnesota roads, two more than this time last year, but nine fewer (60) than 2012.

The recent fatalities include three Carlton College students who died in a crash on Hwy. 3 near Northfield, Minn. on February 28 and four young men whose car lost control on Hwy. 14 just west of Sleepy Eye, Minn. on March 7. All seven were under 21 years of age.

“Our roads can turn deadly in good weather and bad,” said Donna Berger, DPS Office of Public Safety (OTS) director. “The people who lost their lives in these crashes are the reasons we all need to take driving seriously and always make safe decisions about buckling up, driving at safe speeds, paying attention and never driving impaired.

Berger also points out that drivers aren’t the only victims in many crashes. In addition to the Sleepy Eye crash, an early morning January 5 Winona crash into the Mississippi River killed four people. Passengers need to make smart choices regarding their own safety by always buckling up (even in the back seat), never getting in the car with an impaired driver and speaking up if the driver is engaging in risky behavior.

Young Males

Disproportionally Involved

In 2012, young males age 15-34 were involved in 29,186 of 54,050 crashes (54 percent) and 143 of 201 fatal crashes (71 percent). The most cited factors in these crashes were driver inattention/distraction, failure to yield right of way and illegal/unsafe speed.

Greater Minnesota Crashes

In 2012, 66 percent of all fatal crashes occurred in rural areas (population of less than 5,000). In addition, 37 percent of all fatal crashes occurred on county state aid highways, and 89 of those were in rural areas.

About the Minnesota

Department Public Safety

DPS comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.

About the Office of

Traffic Safety

OTS designs, implements and coordinates federally funded traffic safety enforcement and education programs to improve driver behaviors and reduce the deaths and serious injuries that occur on Minnesota roads. OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.

OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes – education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.

Office of Traffic

Safety Highlights

•Roads in Minnesota’s 25 counties with the highest combined totals of drunk driving traffic deaths and alcohol-related serious injuries will be a primary focus for increased DWI enforcement through September 2014.

•In a continuing effort to advance traffic safety in Minnesota, DPS awarded new federal grants totaling more than $8.5 million for regional partners to support overtime traffic safety enforcement and educational efforts through September 2014.

•OTS projects around 385 traffic deaths for 2013 – approximately 10 fewer fatalities that occurred in 2012.

•OTS news archive.

•OTS PSA archive.

•Media are encouraged to localize traffic safety news by referencing county-specific crash facts.

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