At least 11 people were killed in the past 10 days on Minnesota roads, according to preliminary traffic crash reports submitted to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) 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 Sunday, Feb. 24, was the first pedestrian death of the year and two 16 year olds. 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 remain steady over the years, showing no trends of decline.
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 — as distracted drivers are not likely looking for pedestrians.
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 due to inexperience, risk-taking, distractions and poor seat belt compliance. 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.”
Guide for Parents to Establish Safer Teen Drivers
· Provide significant supervised driving training, and continue to do so even after licensure.
· Train teen on a variety of road types (urban, rural) and in different conditions (night, rain, snow).
· Talk with teen to reinforce laws and set limits (such as passenger limitations, nighttime driving) — and use a driving contract between parent and teen to set rules.
·A “teen license parent withdrawal form” is available for parents to cancel the driving privileges of their teen's driver's license (under age 18)