The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is reminding motorists that DWI patrols will be on the lookout for Halloween partiers this weekend. To get its point across, the DPS has created radio spots and a Public Service Announcement that features real law enforcement in-car camera video of costumed DWI offenders.
More than 40 motorcycle riders have lost their lives on Minnesota roads so far this year, compared to 29 at this time last year. The Department of Public Safety says at least 11 motorcyclists died in August -- the deadliest month of the year. Officials note ridership is at record levels because of the cost of fuel.
A Hutchinson police officer is accused of giving marijuana to a potential suspect. During the criminal investigation, the Department of Public Safety is also suspending a program designed to train officers how to recognize if someone is under the influence of drugs.
As of last week, nearly 70 people have died on Minnesota roads through the first 11 weeks of the year. That's up more than 45 percent from the same period last year. The Department of Public Safety says a trend of poor seatbelt use and excessive speeds have both led to more serious crashes.
Safety officials are warning people that it's illegal and unsafe to ride in the back seat without a safety belt. The Public Safety Department says 90 percent of teens and young adults killed in the past few years while riding in the back seat were not wearing seat belts.
The Office of Traffic Safety reports four of the nine fatal crashes on Super Bowl Sunday, between 2006 and 2010, were alcohol-related. During that same period, more than 1200 people were arrested for driving while intoxicated.
Safety officials say there are now more than 400,000 people licensed to ride in Minnesota, and they're spreading information about training programs in hopes of cutting back on the number of fatalities. The Public Safety Department says motorcyclists make up about one in 10 deaths on the roads every year.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says eight of the first 10 people killed in traffic accidents so far this year were not wearing their seat belts. The department also reports that only 20 percent of the 23 people killed in December were buckled-up. Between 2008-2010, about 45 percent of occupants killed were properly using their seat belts.