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Monday, November 16, 2015

MINNESOTA TRAFFIC SAFETY PARTNERS RECEIVE FEDERAL GRANTS FOR “TOWARD ZERO DEATHS” EFFORTS

To continue the effort of decreasing fatalities and life-changing injuries on Minnesota roads, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS-OTS) awarded nearly $10 million in federal funds to traffic safety partners statewide as part of the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) effort.
 
Federal Grant Funds Include: 
·         Metro Area – $4,497,094
·         Northeast Region – $1,387,760 
·         Southeast Region – $640,488
·         Central Region – $885,145
·         South Central/Southwest Region – $630,239
·         Northwest/West Central Region – $1,686,340.98
                                      Total: $9,727,066.98
 
"The funding provided to our traffic safety partners across the state each year will be far reaching in its impact for years to come," said Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman. "With a 35 percent reduction in traffic fatalities over the past 10 years, we know these efforts are working in reducing the pain and loss families face after losing a loved one in a crash."
 
Drunk driving, distracted driving, speed and lack of seat belt use continue to play major roles in lives lost on Minnesota roads. Enforcement and education efforts have proven effective as 2014 marked the lowest number of fatalities in Minnesota since World War II.  
 
Making a Difference
Since 2010, Minnesota has seen a reduction in overall traffic fatalities, including drunk driving, unbelted motorists and distracted driving deaths, yet continues to struggle when it comes to speed. 
Years (2010-2014)
All Fatalities
Drunk Driving Fatalities
Unbelted Fatalities
Speed Fatalities
Distracted Fatalities
2010
411
112
125
86
76
2011
368
103
120
85
72
2012
395
95
116
74
51
2013
387
81
94
76
68
2014
361
88
106
94
61
5-year totals
1,922
479
561
415
328
Percentage Change
Decrease 12.2 percent
Decrease 21.4 percent
Decrease 15.2 percent
Increase 9.3 percent
Decrease 19.7 percent
 
More Work to be Done
It has been a challenging year on Minnesota roads as there has been a 15 percent increase in fatalities over this time last year. 2015 road fatalities include:
·         351 total fatalities compared with 305 this time last year
·         61 motorcycle deaths compared with 45 this time last year.
·         34 pedestrian deaths compared with 14 this time last year.
·         10 bicyclists killed compared with five this time last year.
 
"The trends over the past five years are encouraging, but the 2015 road fatality numbers are certainly cause for concern," said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. "Especially alarming are the motorcycle and pedestrian deaths this year. By supplying the regions with additional funding, law enforcement and traffic educators will have more of the necessary tools to influence behaviors and reduce fatalities and serious injuries."
 
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 (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's Toward 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 
·         During October's Click It or Ticket campaign, law enforcement reported 5,550 motorists were cited for seat belt violations from Oct. 9 – 25, a 33 percent drop from last year's October wave when 8,195 motorists were ticketed and the lowest since 2010.
·         Officers, deputies and troopers made 1,513 arrests during the enhanced DWI enforcement campaign Aug. 21 – Sept. 7; that's compared with 1,340 during the campaign a year ago.
·         Increased fines for repeat texting while driving offenders went into effect August 1. Under the enhanced law, drivers face a $225 fine for second and subsequent violations of the texting while driving law, in addition to the current $50 fine. The $275 fine, plus court fees, can cost an offender more than $300.
·         Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2014 is a summary of traffic crashes derived from law enforcement reports and describes how, why and where crashes occurred and who was involved.

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