DPS raising awareness for traffic accidents, encouraging safetyPublished 11:14am Saturday, March 9, 2013
At least 11 people died in a 10-day period on Minnesota roads, according to preliminary traffic crash reports submitted to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.
To date for the year there have been 47 traffic deaths, down from 56 at this time last year.
Among those killed since late February were 16-year-old Tess Landherr of Rose Creek, a second 16-year old and the first pedestrian of the year. Seven of the 11 killed were ages 27 and younger.
The year’s first pedestrian death was a 20-year-old male, who was stuck on Saturday, March 2, in Pine County. There were 39 pedestrian deaths in 2012 and 40 in 2011. DPS reports pedestrian deaths show no trends of decline over the years.
Officials remind motorists to drive attentively and to scan for pedestrians. Motorists must stop for those crossing at both marked and unmarked crosswalks. Pedestrians are reminded to make eye contact with drivers to show intent to cross, cross with caution and continue to look for traffic during the cross.
In response to the two teen deaths and another seriously injured, DPS last week called on the support of Minnesota high schools to reinforce safe driving decisions. Traffic crashes are the leading killer of teens. DPS and the Minnesota Safety Council provided turn-key resources to help schools promote safe driving tips to students and parents.
“These very sad events serve as an important reminder for parents that teens are not experienced drivers and that it is critical to continue to train them so they grow safer behind the wheel,” says Gordy Pehrson, DPS teen driving coordinator. “A teen with a license still needs to be monitored and trained, especially during their first 12 months of driving.”