Blog Archive: August 2020

Ted Foss Memorial Highway sign

“Ted is still remembered”: The Ted Foss Move Over Law

Aug. 31

Ted always wanted to be a Minnesota State Trooper. He made his dream come true, and that’s how he met his wife, Andrea. And when Ted died 20 years ago today because a driver failed to move over while he was making a traffic stop, Andrea and Ted’s law enforcement community worked tirelessly on a law in hopes that such a tragedy would never happen again. That’s how the Ted Foss Move Over Law came to be. Andrea and Ted were a law enforcement family. They met when Ted brought a drunk driver in to the Winona County Jail – Andrea worked for the Winona Police...

A teen holding a smartphone

Teens and internet time: How to play it safe

Aug. 27

Every new generation has a technology or situation their parents aren’t familiar with. Perhaps you grew up helping your parents program the VCR or use a TV remote or answering machine. The current generation of kids are what’s known as digital natives – we may remember a time without computers, cell phones and the internet, but they don’t. We watch our kids use technology for distance learning and keeping in touch with friends and family they can’t see in person, and we realize they’re spending more time in cyberspace than ever before...

A motorcyle training instructor watches a student navigate through a training course on a motorcycle

Make every motorcycle ride a safe ride

Aug. 24

With everything going on in the world today, a motorcycle ride can be the perfect escape. Leave your worries behind, put that helmet on, and head for the open road. Wearing proper protective gear can help keep you safe in case of a crash, but having good riding skills and a strategy can prevent a crash from happening in the first place. The number of motorcycle fatalities is high this year compared to past years with 42 rider deaths, according to preliminary reports. At this time last year, there were 31 rider deaths. August through fall is prime riding time for many Minnesota motorcyclists...

COVID-19 School Safety

Keeping students and educators safe in the COVID-19 era

Aug. 20

Ask any parent or their student. Back-to-school shopping lists look a bit different this year thanks to COVID-19. In addition to backpacks, notebooks and pencils, students will be wearing masks with their new outfits and bringing hand sanitizer to class. At the same time, schools are diligently working to prepare for a new year of learning, all while taking the serious safety considerations of a pandemic into account. Whether virtual, in-person, or a hybrid of the two, it’s a back-to-school season like none we’ve ever seen before. In years past, schools had to consider a multitude of threats...

Fire code questions chart

How the Fire Code Team is helping businesses and schools reopen safely

Aug. 17

Unless you’re a business owner of anything from a day care to a dance club, you probably don’t think about fire codes very much. But the Minnesota State Fire Code affects your life in tangible ways – especially now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic where we all need a lot more space to stay safe. Fortunately, there’s a group of Minnesotans whose job it is to help us interpret the fire code. Appropriately, they’re called the Fire Code Team...

Drive Smart!

​Sober ride or DWI? The choice isn’t hard.

Aug. 13

Embarrassing. Life-changing. Expensive. Getting a DWI can be all of these things. But it can also be life-saving – and not just for you, but for every driver and passenger who travels Minnesota’s roads with the expectation that they will arrive at their destination unharmed. Ask anyone with a DWI if it was worth it. Minnesota law enforcement officers took more than 27,000 people driving under the influence off the roads in 2019. But despite their best efforts, 89 people died in drunk driving-related crashes. These were preventable deaths...

Floodwater over a rural road

Mega rain and the case for flood insurance

Aug. 10

No, mega rain is not the signature weapon of the latest comic book supervillain – and no superhero can help you recover from the damage it can inflict. Mega rain is an actual meteorological phenomenon occurring more and more often in Minnesota. And instead of a superhero, you’ll need flood insurance to bounce back. But let’s start with a definition. To be classified as mega rain, a storm has to cover at least 1,000 square miles with at least 6 inches of rain, with a core of 8 inches or more. It’s not just about how much rain falls, but about how widespread it is. In a state where rivers breaching...

A staff member sanitizing an armrest in a car

12 ways DVS is making it easier, safer for you during the pandemic

Aug. 6

We’ve all had to make a lot of changes during this pandemic, and the Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) is no exception. Whether it’s a road test for your first license or a commercial driver’s license renewal, the priorities are to make it easier for you to do business and keep you safe from COVID-19. Read on to discover 12 ways DPS-DVS has enhanced their processes in the last several months...

Still and Always hands free. Park the Phone.

Get into the hands-free habit

Aug. 3

Complacency is a dangerous thing, and old habits are hard to break. Often, once the novelty wears off a new idea or program, we go back to our old ways. Sometimes that’s not a big deal—at worst, you might gain some weight back or see some flowers wither in your garden. But sometimes falling back into old habits can be deadly. Minnesota’s hands-free cell phone law just turned one year old on Aug. 1, and it’s safe to say the novelty has worn off and people may be getting complacent. Drivers may be slipping back into old habits, risking their own lives and those of their fellow motorists...