Minnesota Department of Transportation

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April 14, 2022

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West CentralMinnesota’s Toward Zero Deaths workshop to cover
strategies for addressing increase in traffic deaths

Traffic safety partners refocus on the Safe System Approach and Traffic Safety Culture

What:   Even one traffic death is one too many, and 2021 saw the highest number of traffic fatalities in Minnesota since 2007, with 501 people losing their lives last year. West Central Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths workshop partners will discuss the crash facts. They’ll learn more on how the Safe System Approach can keep travelers safe through actions such as road engineering and enforcement, regardless of behaviors and conditions. Attendees will strategize on how improving Traffic Safety Culture requires further engaging communities and organizations to influence long-term, individual behavior change. These two approaches must work together to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries on West Central Minnesota roadways.

When: Tuesday, April 19, 2022, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Where: Thumper Pond, 300 Thumper Pond Rd, Ottertail, MN 56571

Why:     From 2003-2014, traffic-related deaths declined by 45 percent, then a plateau occurred from       2014-2020. Starting in 2020 during COVID-19, traffic deaths began to increase. Preliminary    figures show traffic fatalities spiked to 501 lives lost in 2021, with speed as the largest contributing factor. It was evident that revisiting and revising focus and strategy were needed. 

Who:     More than 50 regional traffic safety stakeholders will attend the workshop, representing law enforcement, engineering, education, emergency medical and trauma services as well as local leaders. Hosted by the Minnesota departments of Health, Public Safety and Transportation.

9:15 a.m. “I wish we were still on the plateau – Crash Data PresentationEric DeVoe, senior research analyst, MnDOT Office of Traffic Engineering. In 2021, the number traffic fatalities were the highest since 2007. Traffic deaths jumped an alarming 26 percent. Speeding was the leading cause of fatal crashes in Minnesota.  What happened and why?

9:40 a.m. Making Safe System a Reality: Planning to Implementation Ken Johnson, assistant state traffic engineer, MnDOT Office of Traffic Engineering

10:40 a.m. Five Tips to Grow Traffic Safety Culture Katie Dively, M.S., MCHES, research scientist II - senior trainer, Center for Health and Safety Culture, Montana State University– Growing traffic safety culture can seem daunting, but there are actions everyone can take right now to create a safer traffic safety culture.