St. Paul, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- The Department of Public Safety Commissioner announced new federal grants totaling more than $600,000 for Northeastern Minnesota law enforcement agencies to support overtime Toward Zero Death efforts.
DPS Commissioner Mona Dohman says that area law enforcement agencies and local community groups have helped reduce traffic deaths by 42% in the area over the last decade.
The DPS collected data from Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Pine and St. Louis County that show:
- Annual traffic deaths: 2002 - 67; 2003 - 72; 2004 - 61; 2005 - 52; 2006 - 47; 2007 - 51; 2008 - 43; 2009 - 39; 2010 - 38; 2011 - 39.
- Unbelted traffic deaths have decreased as seat belt use has increased. Ten years ago, there were 41 unbelted deaths, last year there were nine. In the past decade, there were 215 unbelted deaths.
- Drunk driving remains a serious issue in the area, there were 162 deaths in the past decade. Last year, drunk driving accounted for 16 of the region's 39 total deaths last year, 41% of the region's total. This percentage is higher than the statewide percentage of drunk driving deaths (around 30%).
Commissioner Dohman says these stats are the reasons DPS continues to invest in traffic safety in the region.
Posted to the web by Jenna Vogt