MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It was a deadly weekend on Minnesota roads as many headed out to cabins or other weekend destinations for Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced Tuesday that of 466 crashes over the holiday weekend, three were deadly and 228 involved injuries.
Lt. Eric Roeske said the number of crashes is less than during winter months but can be more dangerous.
“People tend to travel more in the summer, and are more relaxed because they are not concerned about the weather. In fact, we see more people lose their lives in the summer months,” he said.
Roeske said despite a record number of Minnesotans using their seat belts, there are still too many dying as a result of not being buckled up.
There were also 425 people arrested for DWI over the three-day stretch. The fatal crashes included a motorcycle death in Wright County Friday afternoon, a crash involving an unbelted passenger Sunday night in Rice County and a driver in Le Sueur County on Monday. DPS officials said those numbers are preliminary.
The three fatalities pushed the state’s total to 111 so far in 2014. That’s one less than this time last year. The motorcycle fatality was also the fifth this year, compared to 10 by this time last year.
Authorities said it’s another reminder to plan for a safe and sober ride if you’re going to be out on Minnesota roads over the holidays. The Minnesota State Patrol also said it will have extra officers out enforcing the state’s seat belt laws through June 1. Authorities said a ticket for not wearing a seat belt can cost between $25 and in excess of $100.