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Blog Archive: November 2017


An attendee of the International Motorcycle Show tries out the SMARTrainer at the MMSC booth.Come see us at the International Motorcycle Show!

Nov. 30

If you’re a motorcycle rider, the next best thing to cruising down the road on your bike is hanging out with people who love motorcycles as much as you do. So now that the riding season is over for most motorcyclists, it’s a great time to attend the International Motorcycle Show in Minneapolis. The show takes place Dec. 8-10 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC) will be there! We’ll have a booth at the show each day. Certified RiderCoaches – the people that teach MMSC courses – will be there to answer your questions about training...


Minneapolis police Sgt. Catherine Michal tells of the horrific crash in which her 16-year-old daughter, Deanna, died at the handThe gifts that will never be unwrapped

Nov. 27

Seventy-four bright packages. Seventy-four boxes full of wonder and possibility. Seventy-four gifts that will never be unwrapped: one for each person that was killed by a drunk driver last year. These 74 gifts represent, in stark, painful reality, how one person’s choice to drive while drunk can not only end a life, but have a profound impact on the family and loved ones who lost them. Hitesh Patel should know: His 20-year-old niece, Ria, was killed by an alleged drunk driver on Sept. 17, 2017. Described by many as having “a golden heart,” Ria got into the car that night with someone who...

 

Photo of State Patrol Lt. Paul Stricker, Kristin and Elise Lonsbury, and Virginia Marsh.Saving Baby Elise

Nov. 20

“I pulled her out of her car seat, and her little arms just dropped to her sides.” Kristin Lonsbury found herself in a waking nightmare on the side of I-394 on Sept. 14. She had pulled over because her daughter Elise, then six weeks old, had started making “guttural choking noises” – and then an ominous silence. Sure enough, Elise had choked and then lost consciousness. Enter Virginia Marsh, a nurse who was on her way to work on the same stretch of road when she saw a woman “kneeling in the grass with an infant in one hand and a phone in the other. Something wasn’t right.” ...

 

Winter weather threats graphic listing extreme cold, wind chill, heavy snow and ice.Will the weather outside be frightful?

Nov. 16

Thanksgiving is just around the bend, bringing with it a season of twinkly lights, yummy food, and – here in Minnesota, anyway – winter weather, some of which can be hazardous. It’s important to know what to expect, but if you’re like most people, you find the National Weather Service’s watch, warning and advisory (WWA) system a tad confusing. What’s the difference between a winter storm watch and a blizzard warning, for example, and how does that change the way you would prepare? After talking with everyone from your average person to social and behavioral scientists...

 

Photo of trooper's graduating.How Minnesota troopers are learning about autism

Nov. 13

Imagine how you’d feel if you woke up one morning and discovered that your son was missing. Imagine how frantic you’d feel; how powerless. You’d call 911 immediately, of course, and knowing that law enforcement were looking for him would do quite a bit to set your mind at ease. But what if your son was autistic? It’s not that uncommon anymore. In the 1990s, about one in every 2,500 people was known to be autistic. Today that number is one in 68, having grown to 37 times more in less than 30 years. And if your son is autistic, maybe he can’t speak...

 

Photo of a Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety inspector looking at a natural gas pipe.How a pipeline inspector becomes a pipeline inspector

Nov. 9

Pipeline inspections are like city streets: You don’t really think about them until there’s a bump in the road. Very few Minnesotans know there’s an Office of Pipeline Safety, and that’s OK: it means they and the pipeline industry are following regulations and putting safety first, and successfully avoiding occurrences like explosions and gas leaks. In case you’re wondering, the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety (MNOPS) acts as a regulatory agency – their job is to ensure that Minnesota’s 86 pipeline operators, 60,000 miles of pipeline, and nearly 1.5 million gas meters are in compliance...

 

Nov. 6

There’s not much time left in this year’s motorcycle riding season, so you’re likely taking every opportunity to get on your bike and enjoy the crisp (well…sometimes downright cold) fall air and what beautiful fall colors are left. But along with turkeys and pumpkin spice everything, the season brings with it unique dangers to a motorcycle rider. There is much less daylight. Wet leaves can be slick on the roadway. And deer are out in droves. There have been 52 motorcyclists killed so far in 2017. Of the 46 motorcyclists killed in crashes where helmet use was known, 74 percent weren’t wearing a helmet...

 

Photo of materials at the Toward Zero Deaths conference.Toward Zero Deaths: Exactly what it sounds like

Nov. 2

If you’ve never heard of Minnesota’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) project, don’t worry. But if you spend any time at all on Minnesota’s roads – whether as a driver, passenger, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian – you’ll definitely want to know. It’s a joint venture of organizations and agencies with the common vision that even one traffic-related death is too many. In short, they’re working toward zero deaths. Which is why about 900 of them got together in St. Paul last week for the annual TZD conference. It’s a forum to share best practices, identify ongoing and new traffic challenges...