About Minnesotans for Safe Driving

Our Mission Statement –
To assist all victims of traffic crashes and educate
the public to the dangers of Drunk Driving and Distractive Driving.

Minnesotans for Safe Driving (MSD) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
Its Prime Objections are as follows:

Victim Services

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.
We offer:

  1. Speakers for presentations at any interested organization or school
  2. Death Notification/ sensitivity training free of charge to law enforcement, medical personnel and any group upon request.
  3. Materials and assistance in our new projectEmployee Workplace Reintegration after Loss
  4. 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.
  5. Impactful DVD’s of victims and offenders talking about the crash that changed their lives.

Court Watch
We monitor court cases relating to public safety on Minnesota roadways.

We work to change and improve laws to make our roads safer.

Traffic Safety
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.


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MSD Volunteers 

Minnesotans for Safe Driving is saddened to announce that we have lost two of our dearest and supportive friends in the past month
Steven Kallenbeck was co-owner of Aurora Productions.   He was one of the kindest individuals and a talented producer. Our organization with Steven’s assistance has positively touched thousands of lives through our driving impact DVDs.
Gary Williams was a caring and bright drug and alcohol evaluator. He was a very special friend to anyone working in or with the treatment community. He taught the members of our organization about the disease of addiction and made us better able to understand those battling this addiction.
Thank you for touching our lives. You will both be missed

Have you been involved in a crash caused by another, or just shake your head in disdain or dismay at the bad driving behavior you see everyday on our roads?

Don’t just complain, do something about it. Join Minnesotans For Safe Driving as a volunteer and/or a financial donor. Numbers make a difference and money allows us to present more programs and materials.

We have many interesting volunteer positions and activities such as:


Participating at our Driving Impact Panels
Helping to produce our newsletters and brochures
Doing clerical work when needed
Helping with our legislative effort
Participating in traffic safety awareness at our booth at various events
We need speakers and organizers for various programs
Volunteer advocates, training available
MFSD Volunteer Tammi Jo
At Womens Expo

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 

volunteer Danielle helping at fundraising walk

MFSD needs volunteers in outstate Minnesota – we will train you!

Call today!

Jon Cummings speaking at a school

Julio Salazar is a volunteer interpreter and speaker for the Spanish panels

Volunteers for Minnesotans for Safe Driving manning the Viking’s Designated Driver Booth

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“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

Description: http://www.minnpost.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/article_detail/images/articles/john-cummings_main.jpg
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

MSD Board 

Minnesotans for Safe Driving
Board Members

Jon Cummings Founder
Maureen Johnson President
Deanna Othoudt Vice President/Secretary
Sharon Gehrman-Driscoll Director/Victim Advocate
Jill Johnson Treasurer
Nancy Johnson Past President & Legislative liaison

Jon Cummings

Maureen Johnson
Minnesotans for Safe Driving

Maureen lives in Blaine with her husband Cullen and children Cal and Gracie. Maureen became involved with Minnesotans for Safe Driving after a distracted teen driver killed her brother John Keyser on July 18, 2004. Since then Maureen has been speaking at teen driving panels and has testified in front of both the MN House and Senate in hopes of increasing penalties for those who kill while driving distracted. Maureen also works with Nancy Johnson and Sharon Driscoll to teach Death Notification to law enforcement agencies. Ending distracted driving especially by teens is her passion.


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 death.

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 expanded endeavor.

Jon, Geri & Paul Cummings

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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!