As Memorial Day Nears, Minn. Approaches 100th Traffic Death

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Minnesota currently has 99 traffic deaths in 2012, a number that may soon change as the historically deadly Memorial Day weekend approaches.

According to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), the preliminary count of 99 traffic deaths is a 6 percent decrease from this time last year, where the number was at 105 deaths.

Between 2007 and 2011, Memorial Day weekend has seen 29 traffic deaths, with 13 deaths in 2009 alone.

2011, however, was the safest Memorial Day travel period on record (dating back to 1975) with zero fatalities.

Donna Berger, DPS Office of Traffic Safety director, says several factors can still contribute to limited traffic deaths.

“After a deadly start early in the year, we’ve seen a reduction in the fatalities. We can still continue to limit deaths if we all buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and drive sober,” said Berger.

At this rate, DPS projects around 365 deaths for 2012. In 2011, the 100-death mark was also hit in late May.

The final 2011 count will be announced soon and will be under 400 deaths for the first time since 1944.

Click here to visit DPS’s Minnesota Crash Victim Memorial website.

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