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The original item was published from 11/24/2014 11:39:00 AM to 11/24/2014 11:41:24 AM.

News Flash

County News

Posted on: November 24, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Help Keep Travel Safe This Holiday Season

More than 300 fatalities have taken place on Minnesota roads in 2014.

In 2013, Minnesota reached 300 deaths on October 4 and finished the year with 387 traffic fatalities. To date, there are 33 fewer fatalities than were reported this time last year, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety (OTS).

Minnesota traffic fatalities have dropped since a high of 1,060 in 1968, but it’s been more than 90 years (1922) since there have been fewer than 300 deaths in a single year.

Deaths During the Past Decade
The 387 fatalities in 2013 mark an overall downward trend and a nearly 32 percent decrease from a decade ago:

• 2004 – 567
• 2005 – 559
• 2006 – 494
• 2007 – 510
• 2008 – 455
• 2009 – 421
• 2010 – 411
• 2011 – 368
• 2012 – 395
• 2013 – 387

“As winter approaches and road conditions become more challenging, always follow the rules of the road so your loved ones aren’t left celebrating the holidays without you,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “We can all do our part to avoid becoming a statistic. Slow down, buckle up, drive sober and focus on the road.”

Driver distraction and speeding are among the top contributors to crashes but alcohol is the top factor in traffic fatalities in Minnesota. Drunk driving has been responsible for one out of every five traffic fatalities.

In 2013, 81 people died from drunk driving-related crashes and officers arrested 25,719 motorists for DWI.

“Make a commitment this holiday season to leave the keys at home and plan for a sober ride,” Berger said.

OTS is an anchoring partner of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety initiative.

Recent OTS Activity and Statistics
• During the Halloween enhanced DWI enforcement campaign, officers cited 328 drivers for DWI.
• The October 10 - 26 Click It or Ticket campaign reported 8,080 seat belt citations and 217 child restraint tickets from 333 law enforcement agencies.
• Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2013 is a summary of last year’s traffic crashes, derived from law enforcement reports and describes how, why and where crashes occurred and who was involved.

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