- About Us
We are losing our future everyday on our highways. Our future leaders, our teens are being killed or injured in a higher ratio than any other age group based on miles driven. Some are causing their own death and injury through unsafe driving behavior and just plain immaturity and inexperience. Others are the innocent victims of another driver’s bad choices or criminal behavior.
These are a few stories of teens whose lives ended or were forever changed before they really got a chance to start to reach their potential.
These are a few stories of teens whose lives ended or were forever changed before they really got a chance to start to reach their potential.
THE 2014 LEGISLATIVE SESSION HAS ENDED
Minnesotans for Safe Driving (MSD) worked very hard for passage of a bill to clarify the language in the Hit and Run Statue. (more information below) Nancy Johnson, our legislative Liaison with MSD, worked closely with Kelly Moller with Minnesota Alliance on Crime and Kris Zell, whose brother was killed in the Supreme Court case that lead us to get this bill passed. This bill probably would not have passed without the dedication of its chief authors, Senator Kevin Dahle (Northfield) and Representative Paul Rosenthal (Edina) and their Legislative Assistants Bryan Wells and Gina Kunesh. Our thanks to all of them for helping to make this important bill a reality.
The following are bills that passed this session that pertain to traffic or teen driving. There is information at the bottom of this list to access the entire bill
Clarifying the language of the Hit and Run statue HF1335/SF1246 Chapter 186
Requires the driver to stop and investigate what they hit and to remain on the scene if the collision was with a person or vehicle or report later as required in statue if the collision was with some other object. This bill also changes the word accident to collision in the Hit and Run part of the statue.
The reason we brought this issue to the legislature was to respond to the Supreme Court’ s suggestion after they reversed a Hit and Run conviction because the language was vague in the Hit and Run statue. It said that you only needed to stay at the scene if you knew you hit a person or vehicle. On that case the defendant said he was asleep at the wheel so he didn’t know what he hit was a person. This defense was later used by others to avoid a conviction. Of course the big media case that used this issue was the Amy Sensor case.
Requirements for obtaining cell phone data HF2288/SF2466 Chapter 278
This bill requires law enforcement to secure a tracking warrant in order to receive cell phone tracking data; specifying certain exceptions; defining certain terms; specifying certain reporting requirements; clarifying admissible evidence usage
Graduated Driver License rules modified HF2684/SF2867 Chapter 261
Each school (driver education provider) must establish a schedule or procedure for providing “Supplemental Parental Curriculum” to any primary driving supervisor who chooses to receive it. At a minimum, the supplemental parental curriculum must: 1. Be at least 90 minutes in length; 2. Be provided by or in the presence of a driver education instructor; and 3. Provide information concerning graduated driver licensing, safety risks associated with novice drivers, potential influence of adults on driving behavior of novice drivers, and additional resources.
Defines “primary driving supervisor” as the primary person who supervises driving with an instruction permit holder. Raises the number of hours of supervised driving time for an instruction permit holder before obtaining a provisional license. The increase is from 30 hours to either 40 total hours, or 50 total hours if a driving supervisor did not attend the supplemental parental curriculum prior to the driver having received an instruction permit. Minimum night time hours that the permit holder must drive with a primary driving supervisor are increased from 10 to 15 hours.
Work Zone changes (part of an Omnibus bill) HF 3172 –find at 121.5
Describes a work zone; sets fine of $300 for violations in a work zone; makes the owner of the vehicle responsible for the violation if the driver cannot be named except under certain exceptions. Defines what the reduced speed is in a work zone and under what conditions.
Ignition Interlock program changes HF2255/SF2174 Chapter 298
Those convicted of Criminal Vehicular Operation resulting in injury where the offender has fewer than two qualified prior impaired driving incidents within the past ten years or fewer than three qualified prior impaired driving incidents ever; may apply for a conditional reinstatement of the driver's license, subject to the ignition interlock restriction. If the offender has two or more qualified prior impaired driving incidents within the past ten years or three or more qualified prior impaired driving incidents ever; may apply for a limited license, subject to the ignition interlock restriction. This is not available to those convicted of Criminal Vehicle Homicide, killing someone in a traffic crash.
Medical Marijuana HF1641 SF 1818 Chapter 311
Description: Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act; clinical trials on the therapeutic use of medical cannabis required and standards set, commissioner of health required to contract with one medical cannabis product manufacturer, impact assessment and reports required, fees set, and money appropriated. The law does not allow anyone who legally can use marijuana for medical purposes to drive impaired.
EVALUATION OF CERTAIN TRUNK HIGHWAY SPEED LIMITS. HF 3172 142.1
The commissioner of transportation shall perform engineering and traffic investigations on trunk highway segments that are two-lane, two-way roadways with a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour. If they determine that the 55 miles per hour speed limit can be reasonably and safely increased under the conditions found to exist on any of the trunk highway segments examined, the commissioner may designate an increased limit applicable to those segments and erect appropriate signs designating the speed limit. The new speed limit shall be effective when the signs are erected. Of all the roadways to be studied under this section, approximately one-fifth must be subject to investigation.
A few college students from St. Paul’s Concordia University Political Science class were advocating adding wordage to a card that Legislators have been given for over 100 years to protect them from being arrested at the time and jailed for petty and civil crimes during session for the main reason to stop them from voting. These students believe that these cards have been used by a few legislators to get out of a DWI. An arrest is needed to take the tests needed for a conviction. They wanted to add to the card that impaired driving arrests do not have immunity. This bill did not pass but the education that the media brought to the issue probably made it the same as if it did pass. Now all law enforcement knows that DWIs are to be treated the same no matter who you are.
To read the entire law of any of these bills visit http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/bills/chapters.asp?ls_year=88&session_year=2013&session_number=0 and find the chapter listed. Except for HF 3172 visit https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?session=ls88&number=HF3172&session_number=0&session_year=2013&version=list and find either 121.5 or 142.1 on the left side
August 14th 2014 was proclaimed by Gov. Dayton as
IMPAIRED DRIVING VICTIMS DAY
At the press conference to announce Enhanced Impaired Enforcement through Labor Day, victims of impaired driving spoke about what the death of their loved ones by impaired driving meant to their lives. The Impaired driving “Broken Heart” license plate was featured as a way to send a send a message to all drivers about the dangers of Impaired Driving and to support the victims of the carnage caused by drunk drivers.
Those speaking from Minnesotans for Safe Driving were:
Barbara Degnan along with her husband John were instrumental in the development and passage of the bill to have these plates available to victims across the state and all drivers who do not want to become victims. Barbara’s son was killed by the actions of an impaired driver.
Earl Conley whose son Austin was killed by a drunk driver as a pedestrian.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over: Extra DWI Enforcement on Minnesota Roads Aims to Save Lives
ST. PAUL – As Minnesotans enjoy the final days of summer, motorists are encouraged to keep the celebrating safe and not deadly. To help with the effort, law enforcement will be focusing extra attention on drunk drivers during a DWI enforcement and education campaign Aug. 16 through September 1. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety coordinates the campaign, which is part of a nationwide effort.
In the last three years (2011 – 2013), 279 people lost their lives in drunk driving crashes in Minnesota and 81 were killed in 2013 alone. Beyond the fatalities, 2,300 people suffered injuries in alcohol-related crashes last year.
“It takes just one very poor decision to shatter so many lives,” said Donna Berger, OTS director. “Summer days are special to Minnesotans as we enjoy our lakes, parks and all the beauty and activities our state has to offer. Let’s keep these days special and all motorists safe by not letting drinking and driving destroy lives.”
For the complete press release go to:
Klobuchar Joins the Shreya Dixit Memorial Foundationn and Minnesotans for Safe Driving to Announce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Crack Down on Distracted Driving
The Improving Driver Safety Act would help more states access critical funding for enforcement and public education to curb distracted driving; driver inattention and distraction has been the most common factor contributing to motor vehicle crashes in Minnesota
Sherya Dixit died in 2007 on a ride home from college when the driver turned to grab something from the back seat and crashed the car; Sherya’s family started a Memorial Foundation in her honor
MINNEAPOLIS, MN –U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar joined the Shreya Dixit Memorial Foundation and Minnesotans for Safe Driving to announce bipartisan legislation to help crack down on distracted driving. The Improving Driver Safety Act would help more states access critical funding for enforcement and public education to curb distracted driving. Klobuchar was joined by the Shreya Dixit Memorial Foundation, Minnesota AT&T President Paul Weirtz, and Minnesotans for Safe Driving.
“As the mother of a 19 year-old, driver safety is something that is on my mind literally every day,” said Klobuchar. “The numbers are staggering – across the country distracted driving caused more than 86,000 crashes between 2009 and 2013. Beyond the statistics, it is the real people who have lost their lives and real families still suffering that are the true call to action and why we need to stop distracted driving.”
Klobuchar has introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) that would expand access an existing grant program that provides funds to states taking steps to curb distracted driving. In 2014, seventy-percent of the funds were unused with only one state receiving funds through the program. The Improving Driving Safety Act would adjust the requirements to ensure more states, including Minnesota, that are taking steps to curb distracted driving aren’t prevented from qualifying for receiving funds.
There were more than 86,000 crashes attributed to distracted driving between 2009 and 2013. It is reported that nine people die every day and more than 1,000 are injured due to crashes involving distracted driving. In Minnesota, the Department of Public Safety reports that each year in Minnesota driver inattention and distraction contributes to nearly one in four crashes resulting in at least 70 deaths and 350 serious injuries.
NEWS RELEASES FROM MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
August 8, 2014 release
No Fatalities in Minnesota During Challenge
Law enforcement in 15 states participated in enhanced traffic enforcement Aug. 1-4
August 4, 2014 release
There's No Excuse: 16,926 Drivers Cited in July Speed Enforcement Campaign
Fastest Motorist Stopped at 125 mph
July 24, 2014 release
Minnesota DWI Enforcer All Stars Recognized At Minnesota Twins Game Tonight
State Patrol’s Gordon Shank Leads State with 216 Arrests in 2013
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.
MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY NEWS RELEASE
LESS THAN 1 PERCENT OF MINNESOTA DRUNK DRIVERS REOFFEND AFTER USING IGNITION INTERLOCK
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Less than 1 percent of the 10,664 DWI offenders in Minnesota who have used or are currently using ignition interlock have reoffended since the program’s statewide inception in July 2011, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety. To date, 3,283 people have graduated from the interlock program—meaning, they used the device for the required period without reoffending. There are currently 7,381 people using ignition interlock in Minnesota.
Ignition interlock devices are connected to a vehicle’s starter. The only way a driver can start the vehicle is by blowing into the device and measuring an alcohol content under 0.02. If the alcohol content is at 0.02 or above, the car will not start and the information will be recorded and later transmitted to the monitoring authority. “Interlock devices are proving to be effective tools that are keeping the vast majority of past DWI offenders from repeating their mistakes,” says Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “In turn, this technology is cutting down on impaired driving and creating a safer driving environment for the traveling public.”
As the interlock program continues to limit the amount of DWI reoffenders on Minnesota roads, law enforcement around the state continue a nationwide DWI enforcement crackdown scheduled to run through Labor Day. Law enforcement statewide arrested 425 for DWI during the first weekend of activity (Aug. 16-18), including several at or above an alcohol-concentration level of 0.16, making them eligible for interlock.
Who Is Eligible for Interlock
Repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level must use interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges, or face at least one year without a driver’s license. Offenders with three or more offenses are required to install interlock and use for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges.
Based on historical data, officials expect around 21,000 DWI offenders to be eligible for interlock sanctions during a given year. Cost of an interlock is $3-$4 per day. There are 32 states—including Minnesota—that use ignition interlock for first-time DWI offenders.
“Rolling re-tests” require driver to provide a breath sample three to five minutes after starting the vehicle, and randomly thereafter.
In-car cameras record all breath tests. Video and test results are available for DPS to monitor.
Specific hum or “suck back” patterns required when providing breath sample.
Users are required to have the interlock calibrated monthly by a service provider. Service providers will run reports that indicate how many times the vehicle started, number of rolling re-tests, and any test fails (an alcohol-concentration limit of 0.02 or above). Service providers will send reports to DPS for review and to take appropriate action or extend sanctions.
Cell phones and driving
This website is a good resource on the dangers of cell phone use while driving. Deadly Calls: How answering your phone can cost you your life.
This website displays articles from all over the world on cell phone use
Hand-held Cell Phone Use: 12 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. Beginning in October 2013, all laws will be primary enforcement—an officer may cite a driver for using a hand-held cell phone without any other traffic offense taking place.
Most studies show that drivers on cells phones are twice as likely to miss traffic signals, their reaction time is slower to the signals they do detect, and their risk of causing a crash increases by 400%. Using hands free equipment has not been proven to improve driver performance while on the cell phone. It is the phone conversation and the intensity of it that distracts a driver and causes the crash. All studies have found that talking on a cell phone is a major distraction.
Provided by The National Safety Council
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!
Traffic safety is why we are Minnesotans for Safe Driving. Most of our members have experienced firsthand what happens when the driving public doesn’t put traffic safety first.
We developed this website to bring “up close and personal” the destroy lives; whether to the victim and their family or the family of the driver who caused the crash.
You'll find recent and many drunk and drugged driving facts to prove why choosing to drive impaired in any way is so dangerous. It will help you understand the workings of the court system, what rights have in the courts, teen and parent issuespending issues and many more informational articles, facts, programs and links to related websites. This site will also inform you about what educational resources MSD has to offer plus training they can provide in Death Notification, and Returning to Work after Bereavement.
MSD has Crash Cars available for events and operates Victim Impact Panels in four different counties. The site also has information and support for those dealing with the trauma of a loved one who was involved in a serious crash.
We hope that after visiting our site, you have learned more about our organization and some very important drunk driving and careless driving facts that will reinforce your commitment to drive “Safe and Sober”.