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Office of Traffic Safety

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

What's New?

Traffic Fatalities on the Rise and Surpassing Last Year’s Figures

  • Preliminary reports show 285 people lost their lives on Minnesota roads as of Sept. 28. That compares with 263 during the same time last year.
  • Of the 285 deaths:
    • 83 are speed-related, compared with 58 this time last year.
    • 83 are alcohol-related, compared with 84 this time last year.
    • 19 are distracted-related, compared with 29 this time last year.
    • 67 fatalities involved in unbelted motorist, compared with 52 this time last year.
    • 33 are pedestrians, compared with 26 this time last year.
    • 54 are motorcyclists, compared with 39 this time last year.
    • Eight are bicyclists, compared with six this time last year.
  • An average of 103 lives are lost on Minnesota roads from Oct. 1 – Dec. 31.
  • Mike Hanson, Office of Traffic Safety director
    • “The number of people dying on our roads is alarming and gets scarier each day. While the statistics help us understand what is happening on our roads, each of those losses is a mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter. The choices you make could change the life of the person next to you on the road and the people they are important to. Be mindful of your speed, be kind by driving distraction-free, buckle up so you get home to your family at the end of the day and please, never, ever drive impaired.”

100 Most Traveled Days Proved Deadly

  • Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, known as the 100 most-traveled days on Minnesota roads, again proved to be a tragic time in 2020.
  • According to Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS) preliminary figures, there were 152 deaths this summer.
    • That represents 60 percent of all traffic fatalities so far in 2020.
  • During the Labor Day weekend, preliminary reports show three people lost their lives on Minnesota roads.
  • There were 136 deaths last summer.
    • That represented 43 percent of traffic fatalities during the same time period last year.

Preliminary data on 152 deaths

  • At least eight are known to be distraction-related, compared with 10 in 2019.
  • 50 are speed-related, compared with 30 in 2019.
  • 40 are alcohol-related, compared with 42 in 2019.
  • 36 were not wearing their seat belts, compared with 22 in 2019.
  • 36 were motorcyclists, compared with 34 last year. Of the 36 motorcyclists who died, 27 were not wearing a helmet, compared with 23 in 2019.
  • 14 were pedestrians, compared with seven in 2019.
  • Four were bicyclists, compared with five in 2019.
  • 110 were males, while 41 were female, and one was not reported, compared with 92 males and 44 females in 2019.

You Can’t Predict the Future. But You Can Drive Smart and Buckle Up.

Drive SmartMost drivers think of themselves as being good at driving. But no driver can see the future, and that’s why everyone should wear a seat belt.

Currently, more than 300 law enforcement agencies throughout the state are conducting extra seat belt and child restraint enforcement. The Click It or Ticket enforcement and awareness campaign will continue through Sept. 30. Fortunately, we’re off to a good start: the 2019 Minnesota Observational Seat Belt Survey showed that 93.4 percent of front-seat occupants are wearing their seat belts. The campaign’s aim is to get that number up to 100 percent. Learn more in this DPS blog.

Extra DWI Enforcement Campaign Results

  • ​During the end-of-summer DWI campaign that began Aug.14 and ran through Sept. 7, officers, deputies and troopers arrested 1,649 drivers for driving impaired compared with 1,479 DWI arrests during the same period in 2019.
    • 312 law enforcement agencies across Minnesota participated in the campaign conducted by the Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS).
  • There were 294 move over citations issued on Aug. 31.
    • This year marked the 20th anniversary of Corporal Ted Foss’ death that led to the Move Over Law.
  • DWI Arrests
    The Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office arrested a woman allegedly heavily impaired on prescription medications. She had driven from Drayton, ND to Bagley, MN and was attempting to go to Bemidji.
  • Cottage Grove police arrested a driver at .14 BAC who had a 1- and 13-year-old in the vehicle.
  • In Douglas County, deputies arrested a father and son in separate DWI cases in one night. The arrest resulted in the seizure of both vehicles.
  • A Douglas County off-duty deputy was nearly hit head-on by a drunk driver who was arrested for DWI.
  • In Eden Prairie, a woman who just showed up for work around 5 a.m. was arrested for a .26 DWI.
  • Le Sueur police arrested a driver traveling the wrong way on Hwy.169 for DWI.
  • Maple Grove police arrested a woman two times in the same day for DWI. The first time was around 10 a.m. and the second time was around 5 p.m. Police released the woman to a sober party after normal booking procedures following the first arrest. The second time, she was arrested following a complaint at a local liquor store.
  • A trooper stopped a driver after the vehicle passed the squad going 91 mph. The driver blew a .21 BAC and was arrested for DWI.
  • New Brighton police arrested a driver for going more than a 100 mph and blowing a .15 BAC.
  • Thief River Falls police arrested a woman for a DWI who blew a .15 BAC at 3 p.m.

Featured Video

Video Description: Driving with a phone in your hand is now illegal in Minnesota. Lt. Gordon Shank, with the Minnesota State Patrol, shows you different ways to go hands-free.