Minnesota Continues Efforts Toward Zero Deaths on Roads

By KBJR News 1

May 30, 2013 Updated May 30, 2013 at 10:45 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - This was the topic of an all-day conference today at the Inn On Lake Superior.

State Patrol commanders from St. Louis and Carlton counties spoke about the Toward Zero Deaths program's mission to decrease traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries each year.

The program is aiming for less than 350 roadway deaths in 2014.

An increase in seatbelt use and decrease in fatalities from speed, distraction and alcohol related accidents are just some of the ways the state patrol plans to reach this goal.

Alex Balluff was struck by a drunk driver in Duluth in 2009 and was at the conference with his family to share his story. The accident left Balluff with a traumatic brain injury and his short term memory has been severely damaged.

"I fell victim to the one in seven Minnesotans that has a drunken driving conviction. My life is forever changed. I am no longer who I once was," said Balluff during his speech.

From 2008 to 2012, St. Louis County had the highest number of fatalities and serious injuries from traffic-related incidents in Northeastern Minnesota.

- Posted to the web by Billy Wagness