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State looking to make changes after deadly year on Minnesota roads

2021 was one of the deadliest years on Minnesota roads in the last two decades.
2021 was one of the deadliest years on Minnesota roads in the last two decades.(KBJR/CBS 3)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 12:22 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 Duluth) - 2021 was one of the deadliest years on Minnesota roads in the last two decades.

In total, 488 lives were lost, which has state leaders concerned and looking to change.

On Wednesday, law enforcement officers, health leaders, educators, and more came together for the 12th annual Northeast Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths workshop with the goal of reducing traffic deaths across the state.

Participants and stakeholders listened to speakers and experts looking to shift the culture and conversation around driving safely.

They also discussed the new Safe System Approach that is in the process of being rolled out state-wide.

This approach anticipates human error and uses infrastructure projects like bike lanes and roundabouts to protect pedestrians and drivers.

But as we head into warmer temperatures, Holly Kostrzewski, Northeast MN Regional Coordinator with Toward Zero Deaths, said conversations about safe driving practices can protect everyone on the roads.

“It is really important as we head into summer that we have these conversations with our friends, with our family to make sure people are getting a sober ride home, people are getting enough rest, you are putting your cellphone down, you’re wearing your seatbelt, and you are lowering your speed just to make sure everyone has a happy and healthy summer,” said Kostrzewski.

According to data from Toward Zero Deaths, so far this year, road deaths are trending down compared to this time last year.

In 2021 there were 131 road deaths at this time. Right now, we are at 99 deaths so far this year.

For more information on Towards Zero Deaths, click here.

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