Ask A Trooper: Continue to be safe when responding to a crash

Published 5:27 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021

By Sgt. Troy Christianson

Question: I heard something about “Crash Responder Safety Week.” Can you talk about that?

Answer: Crash Responder Safety Week runs Nov. 8-14. The goal is to reach out to every emergency responder, driver, and passenger to educate them in how to play their part in ensuring safe responses at crash scenes. Crash scenes can be dangerous, and it’s in everyone’s best interest, from emergency responders to passing motorists, to have the scene cleared quickly and safely.

Whether you are responding to a crash, involved in a crash, or passing by a crash, we all need to do our part to be sure that everyone makes it home safely.

For those working on or along the road:

• WEAR your high visibility vest or apparel.

• IMPLEMENT traffic control.

• WORK in the shadow of the blocking vehicle.

• NEVER turn your back to traffic.

• MAINTAIN situational awareness.

For those of you behind the wheel, slow down and move over. Your life and the lives of others depend on it.

The days are getting shorter and the nights longer as we approach winter, but throughout the year this has been a dark year when it comes to traffic deaths on Minnesota roads. We’ve surpassed 415 deaths on our roads and are on pace to have the most fatalities since 2007. The numbers aren’t just statistics. Each of those deaths represents someone who is a spouse, a child, a brother, sister, friend, co-worker, and neighbor. Lives are forever shattered by their loss.

For employers, crash fatalities and serious injuries mean not only the loss of a friend and colleague, but of loss of valued talent and expertise.

We’re not alone here in Minnesota. Across the U.S. and even around the world, we’ve seen a startling increase in traffic crashes, resulting in injuries and fatalities, particularly due to excessive speed and lack of seat belt use. 

Help keep emergency responders safe and help keep yourself and other motorists safe. Don’t become a statistic. YOU are important -— to your families, friends, colleagues and everyone. If you drive, your time on the road is the most dangerous part of your day.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848. (Or reach him at,