DPS: January one of the safest months on Minnesota roads in decades


January was one of the safest months on Minnesota's roads in decades, according to a new report from the Department of Public Safety (DPS). However, officials say the record-low number of fatalities last month is still too high.

In a preliminary report released today, DPS says nine people were killed in January – the fewest recorded since 1984, when the department began keeping statistics electronically.

Lt. Tiffani Nielson of the Minnesota State Patrol told the Star Tribune the drop in traffic deaths may be due to DPS's "Toward Zero Deaths" program.

The initiative, launched in 2003, is aimed at improving the safety of Minnesota's roads and encouraging drivers to wear seatbelts, the paper notes.

DPS says it has played a "significant role in saving lives and reducing serious injuries."

Despite the improvement, officials are reminding people that a great deal of work remains to be done – and that any number of people killed in auto accidents is too many.

"While it is important to highlight the decline in traffic deaths across Minnesota, we must not forget that statistics equal real people and at least nine families said good-bye to loved ones in January,” Donna Berger, Office of Traffic Safety Director, said in the DPS release.

To put a face on the fatalities, DPS included some information about a few of those lost last month. Among the victims were a "19-year-old son, brother and uncle," from Brookstone, an Army veteran from McGrath, and a 63-year-old man who died after a driver ran a stoplight.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-10-15 at 10.01.55 PM

Large police presence at Emagine Willow Creek movie theater in Plymouth

There are few details at this stage as to what has happened.

Maple Grove Police Department

Maple Grove-based businessman convicted of fatally shooting wife

Wiseman owns properties in both Minnesota, Nevada and China.

betty and earls biscuits facebook

Jason Matheson's biscuit shop to briefly close ahead of relaunch

Betty & Earl's will shut down for two weeks before reopening under a new name.

Simon Merino Go Fund Me

Worker dies in forklift accident at paper recycling business

The victim was described as a loving father of two who was devoted to his church.

rosie means - go fund me

Authorities ID woman killed by hit-and-run driver who ran red light

A fundraiser was created to support the family after the "sudden and senseless loss."

Prior Lake Football

Watch: Prior Lake stuns Rosemount with last-second hook and ladder

The Lakers dusted off an old favorite to get a victory on Thursday night.

unsplas - maple leaf frost fall lawn

MN gets its first frost advisories, freeze warnings of the season

The coldest spots could dip to below 30 degrees overnight.


Ahead of Big Ten clash, Huskers fans spend their Friday mocking PJ Fleck

Huskers fans are in a playful mood ahead of Saturday's game.

Jamal Smith

New 1st-degree murder charge for man accused in youth coach's killing

A grand jury indicted the suspect in connection with the shooting of Jay Boughton.

trick or treating halloween

COVID: Mayo Clinic's tips for staying safe while trick-or-treating

A layered approach, especially for those who aren't vaccinated, is recommended.


'My patience level is gone': Walz calls on lawmakers to help hospital strain

The governor said only legislators can enact some of the needed measures.