MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This Christmas weekend marked a milestone on Minnesota roads. For the first time in four years, there were no traffic deaths.
Minnesota is now on pace for the safest year on roads in more than six decades.
During the holidays the Minnesota State Patrol has stepped up DUI enforcement. Troopers credit Safe and Sober campaigns and the new seat belt law that makes not wearing one a primary offense, with helping keep impaired drivers off the road.
If the numbers hold, 2010 could be the safest year on state roads since 1944.
“We expect to be about the same as last year, 421 was our final number for fatalities and at this point our numbers are at 397 for this year and so I think you have to say the fact that we have a primary seat belt and you are required by law to wear a seatbelt is saying something that our numbers are lower and obviously it is a factor,” said Minnesota State Trooper, Chris Krajsa.
Krajsa says one third of all fatalities in the state involve alcohol. She believes awareness of the dangers of drunk driving has caused people to wear their seat belts and use designated drivers.
She added that the State Patrol will be out in full force on New Year’s Eve.
WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman Reports