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NEWS RELEASE

Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Scott Wasserman  651-201-7571
scott.wasserman@state.mn.us
Dave Boxum  651-201-7569
dave.boxum@state.mn.us
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2016
Recent Fatalities Mark 100 Deaths On Minnesota Roads
2016 Traffic Fatalities a Cause for Concern

​ST. PAUL – Imagining bright futures and making lasting memories came to an unexpected end for the family and friends of 100 people since Jan. 1 in Minnesota. That’s how many people died in traffic crashes in the first 120 days of 2016, according to preliminary information from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS).

The numbers represent lives lost and shattered dreams for many families. Recent traffic deaths include:

  • A 35-year-old Hastings man riding a motorcycle. Alcohol was detected and the rider was not wearing a helmet.
  • A 25-year-old Kensington man who was reportedly to be speeding, distracted and under the influence of alcohol.
  • A 14-year-old Hillman teen who was riding a dirt bike and rear-ended a tractor. 

Of the 100 fatalities reported to date, there were six motorcyclists, 12 pedestrians and one bicyclist.

The state reached 100 deaths on April 29 last year.

Make Focusing on the Road a Priority 
The 411 traffic deaths in 2015 marked the first time in five years that road fatalities passed the 400 mark. While Minnesota is on pace to reach or surpass that same number in 2016, safe driving behaviors can go a long way in keeping drivers and passengers safe on the road.

Four driving behaviors continue to play a significant role in lives lost on Minnesota roads. In 2015:

  • Distracted driving contributed to 74 deaths.
  • Speed contributed to 78 deaths.
  • Drunk driving resulted in 95 deaths.
  • Lack of seat belt contributed to 91 deaths.  

Minnesota Traffic Fatalities

​2015 ​2014 ​2013 ​2012 ​2011
​411 ​361 ​387 ​395 ​368

 
“How many times have you looked down at your phone, went too fast because you were late for an appointment, told yourself you were okay to drive because you only had a few beers or decided not to buckle up because you weren’t going that far,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “Now ask yourself, is doing any of that worth dying for and leaving your loved ones with a lifetime of grief? By recommitting ourselves to safe driving habits, we can join together in making our roads safe everyone.”

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 SafetyOffice of Traffic Safety (DPS-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. DPS-OTS also administers state funds for the motorcycle safety program and for the child seats for needy families program.

DPS-OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’sToward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety program. 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 medical and trauma response.

Recent DPS-OTS Activity and Statistics

  • More than 30 Minnesota organizations joined the Department of Public Safety and statewide law enforcement in calling for employees and all drivers to choose safety over texting and to eliminate distracted driving.
  • “Locked Up: A DWI Booking,” gives you an inside look at the DWI booking process. Being arrested for a DWI involves more than just getting a ticket.
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445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov