Blog Archive: July 2020

Two bicyclists and a pedestrian crossing a street at a crosswalk

Bike and pedestrian safety is a two-way street

July 30

If you ride a bicycle or walk anywhere you probably already take measures to keep yourself safe. And if you’re a driver, you do the same. But it’s also important to keep each other safe. No matter your mode of transportation, traffic safety is a two-way street. For example, although bicyclist behaviors (such as not obeying a traffic signal) contribute to about half of all crashes with vehicles, driver behaviors (such as failure to yield right-of-way) contribute to the other half. And considering that pedestrians and bicyclists make up almost 15 percent of all traffic fatalities every year, their safety...

Drive Smart

Speeding: One of the last frontiers in improving driver behavior

July 27

You may or may not remember this, but at one time in our shared history, going without a seat belt was no big deal. Parents would drive around in their station wagons with a load of kids in the “way-back,” all of them unbuckled and having a great time. But the last few decades have seen a cultural shift in our collective thinking about seat belts, and now buckling up is second nature to almost everyone. As a result, traffic deaths related to being unbuckled are much more rare now than they were then...

July 22

A lot of you want to know how the process of applying for a permit to purchase or a permit to carry a firearm has changed during the peacetime emergency brought on by COVID-19. How do we know? Visits to all our web pages about firearms permits are way up compared to last year. Read our latest blog to learn nine things you might want to know about applying for firearms permits during Minnesota’s current peacetime emergency.

A motorcyclsit taking a curve on a road

What you can do to avoid a serious or deadly motorcycle crash

July 20

What better way to appreciate gorgeous summer weather than going for a motorcycle ride on the open road? And although you may be getting lots of riding in, it’s important to remember that it’s not a zero-risk activity. Every time you’re out for a ride, there’s a chance you could end up in a crash that could result in injury or even death. Fortunately, there are things you can do about it, and many are hinted at in the statistics of fatal motorcycle crashes. But first, some overall numbers. So far in 2020...

A TV screen showing Gov. Tim Walz during a news conference being broadcast on TPT

No matter your language, you deserve to feel safe

July 16

Imagine you’ve recently moved to a different country – one where English isn’t spoken, and you don’t speak the language very well. Now imagine there’s some sort of disaster, such as a tornado or flash flood. You need information you can understand about where to take shelter, who can help you, what happens if you need medical attention or food. What if you couldn’t get it? Imagine how scary that would feel; how isolating. That can happen right here in the United States – even here in Minnesota. It’s an issue that the Department of Public Safety and Twin Cities Public Television...

A person using a computer to take a knowledge test at an exam station

How to schedule your Class D knowledge test

July 13

It’s safe to say that COVID-19 has changed pretty much everything we do. Even getting a class D instruction permit is different. Because of the virus, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DVS) exam stations were closed for eight weeks, so the demand for Class D knowledge tests is high. To make things easier for you, the 14 regional DVS exam stations are discontinuing the first-come, first-served class D knowledge tests and instead requiring appointments starting today (July 13). Going forward, DVS exam stations will not accept walk-ins for class D...

2020 Smoking Related Fire Deaths: 11 fatalities, average age 59, 35 total fire fatalities

We need your help to prevent smoking-related fire deaths

July 9

Wouldn’t it be nice if all the other bad stuff went away while we fought a pandemic? That way we could focus all our time and energy on staying safe from COVID-19 without worrying what else 2020 would bring us. But that’s not how the virus works, and that’s not how fire works, either. Case in point: The number of people who have died in fires this year (35) is up 35 percent compared with this time last year, according to preliminary numbers. At this time last year, there were 26 fire deaths. These deaths are preventable...

A restaurant worker pouring milk from a pitcher. Text that says Industry Guidance for Safely Reopening Restaurants & Bars

How Minnesota bars and restaurants are reopening

July 7

After several weeks of lockdown, you’re probably looking forward to a little bit of normalcy. Perhaps you’re taking the kids to the park, or you’re planning to go to a social distancing barbeque in a neighbor’s backyard. If those plans involve going to a restaurant, bar or similar establishment, though, you may wonder what the state is requiring them to do to reopen safely. The state has released a set of guidelines for safely reopening restaurants and bars. You may already have heard about the COVID-19 Business Preparedness plans that all reopening business are required to...

Sidewalk chalk art of fireworks

DIY is great, but not for fireworks displays

July 2

With so many things shut down because of the pandemic, it may feel like there hasn’t been much to look forward to attending. Fortunately, the Fourth of July is coming up, and a fireworks display may sound like just the ticket. But with many cities calling off their displays this year – thanks again, COVID-19 – you may be tempted to put on your own fireworks show. What could it hurt? Allow us to answer that question: you, your kids, your pets, your neighbors, your property, others’ property…you get the idea. Anything that flies or explodes is illegal in Minnesota...