Posted at: 10/17/2012 4:39 PM
Updated at: 10/17/2012 6:46 PM
By: Brianna Long
DPS Awards Grants to Help Reduce Traffic Fatalities
(ABC 6 News) -- Deaths on Minnesota roads are up this year compared to last year, and now the Minnesota Department of Safety is trying to stop that trend.
State officials are beefing up the Toward Zero Death Campaign, hoping that next year traffic fatalities go back down.
292 people have died on Minnesota roads so far this year.
"We've seen a spike this year, which was really unfortunate, in motorcycle and pedestrian fatalities," said Kristine Hernandez, with the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
That's concerning for safety officials who have been working on the state's Toward Zero Deaths Campaign.
"Basically we are working to bring what we call the four E’s together. So enforcement, with education, engineering and then emergency medical services. We're all working together as one to bring down the traffic safety related deaths and serious injuries," said Hernandez.
Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner, and the State Director of the Office of Traffic Safety, came to Rochester to roll out their plan.
"Southeast Minnesota law enforcement agencies, community partners, and courts are receiving more than $540,000 in federal funds in the DPS's office of traffic safety," said Commissioner Mona Dohman.
"We want to say that Minnesota is dedicated and driven to preventing future tragedies from happening," said Donna Berger, with the DPS Office of Traffic Safety.
More than half a million dollars is going to agencies across Southeast Minnesota to vamp up the TZD efforts.
"Primarily these grant dollars will be used to support and enhance enforcement and education campaigns," said Dohman.
That's more than any other region in the state. It's all to keep accident scenes off Minnesota roads.
The grant money will be awarded to several agencies involved in the TZD Campaign, including public health and law enforcement.
The campaign ends in September of 2013.