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Office of Traffic Safety

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety



What We Do

The Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), created in 1966, designs and implements public education and traffic-law enforcement programs with the goal of reducing crashes, deaths and injuries on Minnesota roads by improving driver behavior.
OTS also anchors the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety initiative. TZD focuses on four strategies to reduce crashes:
  • Education
  • Enforcement
  • Engineering
  • Emergency trauma response

Who We Are

OTS Director Mike Hanson:

Mike Hanson joined the Office of Traffic Safety as director in November of 2017.

Director Hanson served 32 years in the Minnesota State Patrol, working in both Greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities before retiring with the rank of captain.

Director Hanson is passionate about protecting Minnesotans on the road and has dedicated his life to improving traffic safety in the state.

In addition to his role as director, Hanson also:
  • serves as the Governor's Representative to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • coordinates Minnesota’s participation in the NHTSA State and Community Highway Safety Grant Program.
  • co-chairs the Minnesota TZD program.
 OTS Staff:

Our Partners

OTS gathers input from other traffic safety stakeholders, including these agencies, advisory boards and networks:

  • Child Passenger Safety Board
  • Courts
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Law enforcement liaisons
  • MADD
  • Minnesota DWI Task Force
  • Minnesotans for Safe Driving
  • Minnesota Motorcycle Advisory Committee
  • Network of Employers for Traffic SafetyTraffic Records Coordinating Committee


Facts and Figures

OTS was created in response to the federal Highway Safety Act of 1966. Under the act, states became eligible for federal assistance for state and community highway safety programs. Despite improvements in driver behaviors, vehicle design, roadway engineering, and enforcement strategies since that time, traffic crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for Minnesotans ages 1-34.
In 2004, OTS in partnership with the Minnesota Departments of Transportation and Health developed the state’s cornerstone traffic safety initiative, Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) 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 trauma care.


  • OTS projects approximately 385 traffic deaths for 2013, slightly less than the 395 fatalities that occurred in 2012
  • Minnesota’s 25 counties with the highest combined totals of drunk-driving deaths and alcohol-related serious injuries are the focus of increased DWI enforcement through September 2014
  • The Department of Public Safety awarded new federal grants totaling more than $8.5 million to regional partners who support overtime traffic-safety enforcement and educational efforts through September 2014
  • OTS news
  • OTS PSA archive
  • County-specific crash statistics