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600 Troopers On Patrol For Deadliest Day On Minn. Roads

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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ST. PAUL (WCCO) — The State Patrol will be out in full force in the next 48 hours for what troopers call “Maroon Day.”

Nearly 600 troopers will be on patrol in an effort to increase their presence on highways on June 30 — historically the deadliest day on Minnesota roads.

Since 2000, more fatal crashes occurred on June 30 than any other day of the year, with 30 fatal crashes and 35 deaths.

“Really the goal is to make June 30 not like one of the previous ones it has been the last 10 years,” said Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol.

So far this year, there has been 130 traffic deaths, compared to 166 at this time last year. In 2010, 411 people were killed on Minnesota roads.

“Obviously, that’s a great improvement, as 2010 was a historically low year. But it’s still over nearly 130 people killed, which is far, far too many. Naturally we’re pleased with that progress but we still have a long ways to go,” Roeske said.

The State Patrol believes gas prices and weather have led to less travel this year, and as a result, less fatalities. But what they are really hoping is that drivers are taking the roadways more seriously.

“It really comes down to people making common sense decisions. Don’t drink and drive, wear your seatbelt, don’t speed, it’s really that simple,” Roeske said.

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