Traffic, emergency officials gather for 'Zero Deaths' eventby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — About 700 law enforcement officers, engineers, EMTs, and advocates gather in St. Paul Monday and will work for two days to improve the state's Toward Zero Deaths program.
The program brings federal, state and county agencies together with researchers at the University of Minnesota.
State Department of Public Safety spokesman Nathan Bowie said they try to understand traffic deaths through data and reduce fatalities through enforcement.
"The whole idea of the Toward Zero Deaths program is to combine engineering with law enforcement with education and emergency trauma response," Bowie said. "So the idea is if we have all four of those elements working together, we can really drive Minnesota toward zero deaths."
Bowie said participants will discuss continuing traffic challenges like driving, and seat belt use, especially among teens. They'll also work on emerging issues, including distracted driving.
The Zero Deaths program launched in 2003; since then, Minnesota traffic deaths have dropped by 35 percent, to 421 last year.