Skip to main content

Making headlines

Focus should be on lowering traffic accidents, not reporting increased numbers

During last week’s East Coast winter storm, at least 29 people sadly lost their lives, making headlines across the world.
In Minnesota 25 people were killed on our roadways in January, yet most people don’t give a second thought.
In just the first 31 days of 2016, preliminary reports from the state Office of Traffic Safety show 25 traffic fatalities, which compares with nine people at this time last year.
The 25 deaths last month compares with an average of 19 deaths over the last years.
Those who recently lost their lives include the following:
•A 20-year-old Rochester man was killed and his passenger seriously injured in a head-on crash. The driver in the opposing lane of traffic was attempting to pass traffic.
•A 26-year-old Isanti man lost control and struck a guardrail, and his vehicle came to rest in the lane of traffic. His vehicle was then broadsided by another car and the Isanti man was killed in the impact.
•A 16-year-old girl from Canton was obeying the law, driving with her seat belt on, but was killed when a 55-year-old woman crossed the centerline. The State Patrol believes the 55-year-old driver was impaired by alcohol.
“People say goodbye before their loved ones drive away, never giving it a thought that it could be the last time they see that person,” said Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety director. “It’s time to make driving your number one priority when you are behind the wheel. All of our lives depend on drivers paying attention, buckling up, driving the speed limit and never driving drunk.”
The Rock County Star Herald joins the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety in making safety the 2016 headline and urging motorists to focus on their driving.
We can all make a difference by focusing on the rules of the road and knowing it’s not just your own life you are risking when you decide to weave in and out of traffic, speed through a red light or tailgate the driver in front of you.
Contributing factors in Minnesota road fatalities include:
•Speed: one in five deaths.
•Drunk Driving: one in four fatalities.
•Distracted Driving: one in five fatalities.
•Half of motor vehicle occupants killed were not wearing their seat belt.
“There is no such thing as the word ‘accident’ when it comes to a traffic crash,” said Lt. Tiffani Nielson, Minnesota State Patrol.
“We believe driver’s behavior plays a role in every crash we investigate. Whether it’s going too fast in winter driving conditions, a driver not paying attention to the road while they are on their phone, an unbuckled motorist or someone who got behind the wheel after drinking, the human element always comes into play.”

You must log in to continue reading. Log in or subscribe today.