About Minnesotans for Safe Driving
Our Mission Statement -
Minnesotans for Safe Driving’s mission is to assist all victims of traffic crashes and educate the public to the dangers of all unsafe driving behaviors.
Minnesotans for Safe Driving (MSD) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
Its Prime Objections are as follows:
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help victims of traffic crashes involving unsafe driving behavior.
Advocates attend court proceedings at a victim's request. We assist victims step by step during court proceedings and after if requested.
Education and Public Awareness
As an organization, we are striving to change behaviors through education.
Speakers for presentations at any interested organization or school
Death Notification/ sensitivity training free of charge to law enforcement, medical personnel and any group upon request.
Victim Impact Panels to educate the offenders and the public about the consequences of their behavior. Panelists are victims, offenders, law enforcement and medical personnel.
These speakers do impress upon the offenders the outcome of such irresponsible behavior.
Impactful DVD’s of victims and offenders talking about the crash that changed their lives.
We monitor court cases relating to public safety on Minnesota roadways.
We work to change and improve laws to make our roads safer.
Minnesotans For Safe Driving want to change the mindset in Minnesota regarding non-alcohol related crashes caused by speeding, aggressive driving, and inattentive and distracted driving. These
crashes should not be referred to as “ACCIDENTS” they should be considered “CRASHES” that were caused by failure to obey the traffic laws, and follow due care when driving; not an unforeseen
event which is the definition of an accident.
Minnesota has come a long way on reducing the incidence of drunk driving, but the battle is not over until we have reached zero deaths. With the help of technology, advocacy groups, the
government and the public this goal CAN happen.
REMEMBER, THE MOST LIKELY SITUATION TO ENDANGER YOUR LIFE IS DRIVING ON THE ROADS AND HIGHWAYS YOU FREQUENT DAILY.
MSD volunteers at Sen. Amy Klobuchar's press conference for
her Senate Bill "The Improving Driver Safety Act"
Minnesotans for Safe Driving volunteers at their booth at the Minnesota TZD Conference
Jon Cummings speaking at a school
"I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do. " Edward Everett Hale
Spotlight on MSD volunteers
After the sheriff's chaplain rings at 5 a.m., a family is changed forever
By Sarah T. Williams | 06/25/14 MinnPost article
MinnPost photo by Sarah T. Williams
Jon Cummings, founder of Minnesotans for Safe Driving: “This is a powerful, addictive, mood-altering chemical. [It] causes more misery, more death, more injuries, more treasure than all the
rest of them combined. And it’s the legal one.”
Jon Cummings has delivered the talk about his son Phillip (and the drunk driver who killed him) more than 2,800 times over the past 18 years — for various Minnesota county jurisdictions,
schools, churches, prisons, and driver’s-ed classes.
You’d think his story would by now have become rote or routinized. But even after all these years it reverberates with heartbreaking authenticity. It was no different on Saturday at Eisenhower
Community Center in Hopkins, when Cummings addressed about 50 first-time DWI offenders during a Hennepin County court-ordered daylong seminar on addiction, treatment, alcohol’s effects on the
brain, managing stress and strategies to avoid reoffending.
He doesn’t talk about Phillip right away; that comes at about the halfway point of his hourlong presentation.
Read the rest of the article at
http://www.minnpost.com/ mental-health-addiction/2014/06/ after-sheriffs-chaplain-rings -5-am-family-changed-forever
Minnesotans for Safe Driving
Past President & Legislative liaison
Minnesotans for Safe Driving
Never in a million years would I have thought that I would become an advocate for safe driving. That is not until June 8, 2007. My brother was killed in a motorcycle crash.
in which it was determined that he was over the legal limit to be driving after drinking alcohol. That day has changed the way I see things on our roads forever.
I have spent the last 8 years speaking to folks about my brother's crash and the impact it has had on our family. I feel that it is important to show the other side of tragedy - the side
that is left to pick up the pieces after a loved one has been killed in a preventable crash. Simply put, I do not want another family to have to go through what my family has gone
through. By advocating for safer roads, it gives me an opportunity to speak about making better choices.
Why we started Minnesotans for Safe Driving?
MINNESOTANS FOR SAFE DRIVING was created in honor of our son Phillip who was killed by a drunk driver on May 4, 1994. Phil was a fine young man who died a violent and totally preventable
A short time after his death, we became involved in the drunk driving issue with a national non-profit organization, dedicating our lives in seeking ways to make changes in the law and
attitudes of the driving public. But after a few years, it became very clear to us that drunk driving is not the only cause of the senseless carnage happening on our highways – aggressive and
inattentive drivers are killing more people than drunk drivers.
Unfortunately there’s been little advocacy to help these victims through the courts or to fight for changes in the law at the Legislature. The lives of their sons and daughters, mothers and
fathers were as senselessly taken, as was our son’s life. Therefore in February 2000, Minnesotans For Safe Driving was created to fill that known void and to expand
our mission to serve as advocates for ALL VICTIMS OF TRAFFIC CRASHES, be they the results of drunk driving, speeding, aggressive or inattentive driving.
Our mission is two-fold; to stop the senseless carnage on our highways and to help all victims of all traffic crashes.
Forming Minnesotans For Safe Driving has given many talented people a means to continue their dedication to this mission. We hope that you will support us in this
Jon, Geri & Paul Cummings
MSD Directors Notes
Sharon and her
canine friend "Rudy
I have spent the last 36 years of my life working on the issue of drunk driving. Initially, I am always asked, “Are you a victim?” My answer is no. The next question is “Why do you do this
then?” I decided this is a good time to answer these questions and also add a few comments.
Back in the 70’s (It seems like only yesterday), I worked in California at the Alameda County Juvenile Court / Detention Facility. A friend, who at the time was a Probation Officer, was hit
and injured seriously by a drunk driver. My friend lost one arm and one leg, which of course changed his life forever. The drunk driver on the other hand was fined $300. That was it. I have
always thought of that as $150 for each limb. Isn't that horrible.
For years that incident would slip in and out of my mind. After moving to Minnesota there came a time in my life when I had time to volunteer. I worked with a couple charities and one day
decided maybe I could help make a difference regarding the crime of drunk driving. That was almost 30 years ago. Becoming an advocate for victims of drunk driving was definitely my calling.
I wish things would have been different in the 70’s, but I have learned to never look back. I know we have made amazing changes these past 30 years, but I know in my heart there is still a
long way to go. I will never forget the call I received from the mother of a repeat drunk driving offender. She told me she had no other place to turn and wanted to get some advice for her son
regarding turning himself into the authorities. She believed if her son turned himself in he would be “nailed”. That the system would not listen to what he is doing with his life now. That was
the call, which made me understand the life of an alcoholic a bit more and the love of family members. I have been blessed. I now feel I understand some of the frustrations of the victim, but
also the need for an offender to have someone believe in them. I feel like I have received a Masters Degree on the topic of drunk driving. It’s an education I have received from others,
sometimes horrifying, sometimes sad, and always informative.
I am the lucky one; my family has never been through the pains of having a family member hit or killed by a drunk driver. As a mom, wife and citizen I feel it is not only my job, but
everyone’s obligation to use our highways responsibly. It is our duty to do all we can to make this a safer world for our children and grandchildren. Now with Minnesotans For Safe Driving I
have the ability to pursue my calling and assist victims – ALL victims of traffic crashes.
I would like to thank the founders of Minnesotans For Safe Driving, Jon and Geri Cummings for giving these victims a place to turn for assistance. I am proud of all that we have accomplished
over the last three years. It still amazes me that in such a short time we have achieved so much. We will never give up the fight against drunk driving, but society has changed and we are
embroiled in a war on our roadways. There are too many victims of not only drunk driving, but also speeding, road rage, and other irresponsible driving behavior. These victims now have some
place to ask for help. This could not have happened without all of our generous volunteers and donators. So a special thank you to all of you.
A majority of the funds raised, we are proud to say, have been spent on community services and projects. In fact, 80% goes back into the community for education of offenders and the public,
special projects and victims’ assistance. This is remarkable. This is ONLY possible because of our dedicated volunteers and our wonderful supporters. A Big Thank You to everyone!