MnDOT unveils signs that flash traffic death statistics

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation hopes new fatality-statistic messages on traffic signs will grab the attention of motorists and focus them on safe driving. The new messages began appearing Monday, MnDOT says.

In a press release, MnDOT says the signs will share numbers like these: In 2012, 395 people were killed on Minnesota roads, a 7 percent increase from the previous year. To-date in 2013, there have been 166 traffic deaths, up from 149 at this time last year. Here's more about last year's crash facts report.

“These signs give us a great opportunity to deliver important messages where and when it counts: directly to people behind the wheel,” Donna Berger, DPS Office of Traffic Safety director, says. “Minnesota traffic deaths have been increasing and we need to reinforce safe driving behaviors to reverse this trend.”

MnDOT’s 150 digital message signs are mostly used for important real-time updates on crashes, detours, lane closures, road construction and travel times. Those real-time messages will continue to take precedence over the new traffic fatality data, MnDOT says.

The new messages will also focus on the benefits of seat belt use, driving sober and at safe speeds and paying attention. The messages are part of MnDOT's Toward Zero Deaths initiative, aimed at reducing traffic fatalities.

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