ST. PAUL — Memorial Day weekend is the on-ramp to the summer driving season, the deadliest time on the road. Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety officials are reminding motorists to make safe, smart decisions during the historically deadly and high-traffic weekend.
Memorial Day Weekend Traffic Crash Facts, 2008–2012
- 28 total deaths.
- 14 were drunk driving-related.
- 18 were vehicle occupants of which 10 were not buckled up.
- Seven motorcyclist deaths.
- One pedestrian death; one ATV rider death; one death in farm equipment vehicle.
Minnesota traffic deaths topped the 100-death mark for the year earlier this week. To-date, 107 people have been killed in crashes, up from 99 at this time in 2012.
Click It or Ticket Continues
A statewide Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign is on the roads through June 2. Around 400 Minnesota law enforcement agencies are increasing belt patrols. Drivers and all passengers, including in the back, must be belted. Children must be in the correct child restraint or booster seat.
Weekend Road Trip Safety Tips
- Buckle up, drive at safe speeds, drive sober and pay attention — nearly all crashes are caused by human error. These are the four primary keys to staying safe on the road.
- Be patient — expect more traffic and give yourself extra time to arrive at your destination safely.
- Drive well-rested — get good night’s sleep before traveling and rotate drivers.
- Look twice for motorcyclists — check blind spots, and look for riders at intersections, especially when turning.
- Motorcyclists — wear the protective gear, ride sober and ride at safe speeds.
- Work zones — slow down in work zones; visit 511mn.org for road construction updates.
- Move over — move over a lane for emergency vehicles that have lights flashing on the shoulder of the road.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of 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
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety 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