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High Intensity State Patrols to focus on deadliest driving behaviors taking Minnesotans' lives

May 26, 2022 06:06AM ● By Editor
Photo: MN DPS

From the Minnesota Department of Public Safety • May 19, 2022

As the weather gets warmer, more people will be traveling Minnesota roads for vacation fun, family road trips and outdoor activities. To help keep motorists safe, the Minnesota State Patrol is launching Project 20(22). Over five weekends in Ma​y through September, troopers will conduct high intensity patrols focusing on the deadliest traffic violations: speed, lack of seat belt use, distraction and impairment.​

Through May 8 of this year, there have been 95 traffic-related deaths on Minnesota roadways:

  • 26 were speed-related fatalities
  • 14 were impairment-related​
  • 8 were distraction-related
  • 24 were unbelted deaths

“We care about traffic safety all across Minnesota and want to stop the horrific increase in traffic deaths that struck Minnesota families the past two years,” said Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol. “This project allows our troopers to have a visible presence and protect motorists during busy times on our roads. Our message remains simple: buckle up, drive the speed limit, plan a sober ride and never drive impaired, and always pay attention.”

Saving Lives with Project 20(22) 
Project 20(22) was designed to help stop dangerous driving behaviors. Troopers will use a team approach to traffic safety rooted in the history of the agency. It was first created as Project 20 in October 1979 and operated through October 1982. The State Patrol and Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety worked together to bring it back as a statewide Toward Zero Deaths initiative.​​

Weekend-Long Focus by Region
State Patrol districts across Minnesota will dedicate specific weekends to high intensity patrols starting Friday, May 13. Troopers will work in the same teams of 16 Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The regional focus areas for each weekend are:

May 13, 14, 15​
Hwy 371/Hwy 169, Little Falls to Walker 
*fishing opener weekend
June 24, 25, 26
Twin Cities Metro Freeways
July 15, 16, 17Twin Cities Metro Freeways
August 5, 6, 7I-35, Pine City to Duluth
September 16, 17, 18I-94, Moorhead to Rogers​

Fewer Lives Lost but More Work Needed
Minnesota reached 488 traffic fatalities (preliminary) across the state in 2021, the highest number since 2007 when there were 510 traffic deaths. While fewer motorists have lost their lives so far in 2022 compared with recent years at this time, any traffic deaths are too many. Bad driving choices are still leading to tragic results for Minnesota families.​

Traffic Deaths (Jan. 1 – May 8)

Contributing Factors2022202120202019201820172016
Speed-Related Fatalities26​
57
25
19
38
32
27
Alcohol-Related Fatalities14333725372733
Distraction-Related Fatalities836118316
Seat Belt-Related Fatalities24342418312228


Resources: DriveSmartMN.org​

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