Illegal or unsafe SPEED is a leading
contributing factor in Mn. fatal crashes
SMART RIDE a sober cab program in a rural county
A blueprint for other counties
Rice County, Minnesota wants to lower the incidences of impaired driving in their county. Unfortunately, the county has been on the state’s list of the 13 deadliest counties for many years and in 2012 the county has finally moved off that list. One reason for that is an ongoing award winning collaboration of seven law enforcement agencies in Rice County called the MOD Squad (Modifying Unsafe Driver Behavior – One traffic stop at a time) who work together on saturation patrols throughout the year to keep impaired drivers off the road. They also work with the Rice County Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) Safe Roads Coalition on public awareness and education programs. But the best program is one that prevents people from driving after drinking. Since rural areas do not have mass transit the next best thing would be a sober cab program. Programs such as these need the cooperation from government agencies and private business to succeed. The idea for the Sober Cab was spearheaded by the Safe Roads Coalition to start first in Northfield/Dundas in the summer of 2012 and launched in Faribault just in time for St. Patrick’s Day 2013.
The program is called SMART RIDE. A task force was formed to create the program that included College City Beverage, the local alcohol distributor; First Choice Shuttle, a local cab company operating throughout the county; the Rice County Attorney’s office, the City Councils of Northfield and Faribault, as well as the Northfield and Faribault Police Chiefs, and several liquor establishments.
Voucher given to the patrons
Local bars participating in the program give patrons who are not safe to drive a free overnight parking permit and a complimentary voucher for a $5 sober cab ride home within the city limits. The bar pays $2 of the $5, College City Beverage pays $2 and one dollar comes from a DWI forfeiture fund set up by police departments, the County Sheriff and County Attorney. This program does not provide a free ride to everyone in the bar; it is at the discretion of the bartenders. Patrons who are not given the voucher by the bar can chose to pay the $5 themselves to get a safe ride home and still use a parking voucher if needed. The shuttle provides service to all of rural Rice and Steele Counties. When traveling outside the city limits; there is a per mile charge which the patron must pay.
This program started the summer of 2012 and it has been very successful even with people who pay the $5 themselves. Last September at Northfield’s Jesse James Days, the Smart Ride shuttles were packed. People were happy to wait in lines to get a safe, cheap ride home. There were no alcohol incidents during that four-day festival. The program is available 24/7 and law enforcement is seeing more and more cars left at bars to be picked up in the morning when there is a sober driver. As of March 2013, seventeen (17) local liquor establishments have joined the program.
For more information on starting a program in your area contact JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
Intersection Safety Cameras
Reduce Crashes and Save Lives
Red light running led to 676 fatalities and an estimated 113,000 injuries nationally in 2009 (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). In Minnesota in 2011, 23 people were killed and 7668 were injured at controlled device intersections.
Intersection crashes account for more than 45 percent of all reported crashes and 21 percent of fatalities. In 2003, 9,213 Americans died as a result of intersection-related crashes – a rate of more than one an hour.
(National Automotive Sampling System General Estimates System (NASS-GES), Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS))
A Columbus, Ohio study found that the number of people running red lights at the city’s first two intersections with cameras dropped from 1,684 violators in March 2006 to 477 in August of 2006, a 71 percent decrease. (Ohio Post Dispatch, September 25, 2006)
Traffic crashes are the single most significant cause of preventable death and injury. Nearly two-thirds of those killed in intersection crashes are not in the red light-running vehicle; they are the innocent person who thought they were safe proceeding on the green light, riding a bicycle, or crossing the road in the cross walk.
It has been said that when cameras are used the yellow light duration is shortened to encourage more tickets. Minnesota Department of Transportation controls the light durations and will not change nor shortened yellow light times. Minnesota law follows the permissive yellow light guideline. A Violation occurs if a driver enters the intersection after onset of a red light and that is when a ticket should be given.
Remember, no one nor no entity is violating your privacy if you do not violate the law. This is a safety issue and not a financial issue
MSD supports the Red Light Camera legislation not because it wants more cameras watching everything that we do but because people are being killed and severely injured due to many drivers who are in a big hurry and violate the law by rushing through intersections even against the red light.
MSD has a saying on its website that says “Don’t let the two minutes you save on the road be the last two minutes of someone’s life.” This is so fitting for this issue. Is running through a red light worth your life or my loved one’s just to get to your destination a few minutes faster? People obey the law for two main reasons, either they obey because it is the right thing to do or they believe they will be caught if they don’t. Cameras will make a big difference for the latter. Preventing the crash is so much more important than the ticket after the fact. Knowing the camera or a police officer is at the intersection will curb most violations and SAVE LIVES.
Stop on Red, It’s the Law:
Facts Don’t Lie:
click here for Dan's story
Barb and her son, Dan
How Ignition Interlock Works
This Minnesota Department of Public Safety video explains how ignition interlocks work and their benefits for road safety.
The mandatory Ignition Interlock law has been in effect for one year now. The following press release “One Year Since Interlock Law: DPS Urges DWI Offenders to Use Device for Sober, Legal Driving” give more information on the law and the benefits to the offenders.
News from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety attached, below and online:
February 19, 2013
DPS Lists Deadliest Days of the Year
ST. PAUL — On Feb. 20, 2012, eight people were killed on Minnesota roads, making it the deadliest day of the year. Among those killed were four female North Dakota State students who crashed on I-94 near Alexandria.
To underscore how traffic crashes remain a serious — and constant — issue on Minnesota roads, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety compiled the list of the deadliest days of 2012.
According to preliminary fatal crash reports, there have been 384 traffic deaths in 2012, up from 368 in 2011. Last year was the second time since 1944 the state has recorded fewer than 400 deaths.
2012 Deadliest Day
- Feb. 20 — 8
- May 30 — 6
- Nov. 6 — 6
- March 3 — 5
- June 23 — 5
- Dec. 27 — 5
- Days with four deaths — Feb. 10; July 26; Aug. 17; Sept. 1, 6, 11, 14, 16; Oct. 14; Dec. 14.
The longest streak of days in which there was at least one road death was 16 days (July 20–August 4), while the longest streak of days in which there were zero deaths was only four days (occurred Jan. 15–18; Feb. 5–8 and June 10–13). There were 136 days with zero traffic deaths.
“It’s critical that we all take the task of driving seriously and focus on the drive so we can create more zero death days for the future and avoid these preventable tragedies,” says Donna Berger, DPS director of the Office of Traffic Safety.
Berger says most crashes are caused by driver error and can be prevented by buckling up, driving at safe speeds, paying attention and planning ahead for a sober ride to avoid driving impaired.
In the past 20 years, there have been eight days with 10 or more deaths.
Crash Victims’ Memorial Website Adds Perspective to State’s Traffic Deaths
The DPS MinnesotaCrashVictims.org memorial website provides a dramatic representation of the lives lost on state roads and “goes beyond the stats,” according to state traffic safety officials.
The site allows crash victims’ families to present a meaningful remembrance of a loved one, while the primary goal is to educate about traffic safety. The site requires families to enter crash details, such as seat belt or helmet use, and impaired or distracted driving, to enhance the education component.
The site allows families to connect with others who have entered a memorial, and gives visitors an opportunity to post photos and offer remembrances in a victim’s guestbook.
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
- Minnesota teens are called on to produce seat belt or distracted driving TV PSAs for their chance to win $1,000 from AAA. Entries are due April 15. Find rules and entry forms at https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/teen-driving/Pages/teen-tv-commercial-challenge.aspx
- Motorcycle rider training courses are available for new and experienced riders — register at motorcyclesafety.org,https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/mmsc/Pages/default.aspx
- In 2012, preliminary crash reports indicate at least 384 deaths. The final fatality number will be released this summer. View final 2011 statistics in the Minnesota Crash Facts report: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/reports-statistics/Pages/crash-facts.aspx
- OTS is investing federal grants totaling more than $7 million to 317 law enforcement agencies and community partner groups for enforcement and education campaigns, Oct. 2012¬–Sept. 30, 2013.
- More than 5,000 DWI offenders are using ignition interlock to benefit road safety and ensure legal, sober driving.
- OTS news archive: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/Pages/news.aspx.
Driver Wars: Who’s America’s Best Driver?
If you’ve ever felt like you’re the only good driver on the road some days, you’re not alone—in fact, surveys show that most people believe they are better, more reliable drivers than the other people on the road at any given time. The average person is involved in a car collision just once every 17 years, but with over 300 million people in the US, that rate can add up pretty quickly. If you’ve ever been involved in a car collision, you know that it can be tough to sort out just who’s to blame. And even if you may feel like the best driver on the road, there’s a good chance that you’re not. When it comes to deciphering who is the best driver, there are some candidates who you know have a higher collision rate than others—for instance, teenagers, due largely to inexperience, have a much higher accident rate than someone in their 30s or 40s. So who is the best driver? Statistically, the answer may be a big surprise to some. The following infographic examines, from a statistical standpoint, who the best driver on the road is. Read on to see whether or not you fit the description!