Pedestrian deaths down in Minnesota

Minnesota is on pace for one of the safest years for pedestrians in a decade. Last year, October marked the deadliest month for pedestrians with seven deaths. Officials are hoping for a safer fall in 2011.
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State public safety officials are pleased with Minnesota's pedestrian safety numbers. 18 pedestrians have died so far this year, which is down from 25. But with days getting darker earlier, officials want motorists, cyclists and walkers to take heed.

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Pedestrian deaths spike in Minnesota

Twenty-three pedestrians have been killed so far by vehicles in 2012, making it the deadliest year in the last five, the Star Tribune reports. Among the latest victims was Cléo Thiberge, a 19-year-old college student from France who had just arrived in the Twin Cities when she was struck by a vehicle in St. Paul.

Pedestrian deaths on rise in U.S., Minnesota

A new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report released this week says the percentage of pedestrians being killed in traffic accidents is on the rise, both nationally and in Minnesota. In 2011 -- the most recent period of data available -- pedestrian deaths accounted for almost 11 percent of the 368 traffic-related deaths in Minnesota.

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The 2012 figure is on pace with the 204 deaths at this time in 2011, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. This year's 205 deaths include four bicyclist, 29 motorcyclists and 18 pedestrians.

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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says it is encouraged by the reduction of drunken driving deaths 2011 from a decade before, but notes that it is still a top safety threat. According to the Minnesota Drunk Driving Report released Friday, there were 111 drunken driving deaths in 2011, marking a 40 percent reduction in such deaths from 185 a decade ago. The report also revealed that there were 29,257 drunken driving arrests last year as well.

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Safety officials consider the midsummer holiday the deadliest day of the year on the state's highways. It claimed six victims last year. But this time around, zero. It's not clear what produced the happy goose egg, although there are some theories.

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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says the 368 traffic deaths on Minnesota roads in 2011 represents a fourth consecutive annual drop in road fatalities and the lowest death count on record since 1944 when 356 were killed. The 368 deaths mark a 44 percent decrease from 10 years ago.