Extra Patrols on Minnesota Roads Throughout New Year’s Day

Nearly 500 Fatalities Have Occurred on Minnesota Roads in 2021

DULUTH, Minn. – While many make plans to go out and ring in the New Year with friends and family while having a few adult beverages, the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety is reminding drivers to plan ahead and be responsible.

“500 families this year have planned or will plan a funeral for a loved one who’s not coming home anymore,” said Mike Hanson, Director for the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety.

In 2021 alone, nearly 500 lives have been lost on Minnesota roads. This number is the highest it’s been in the state since 2007. Almost 200 of those deaths have been caused by impaired driving.

From November through New Year’s Day, the Office of Traffic Safety partners with over 300 law enforcement agencies around the state to fund extra patrols on roadways.

“We’re seeing a significant uptick in the number of drug-impaired driving arrests that are taking place across the state. If you feel different, you drive differently. If you feel different, you shouldn’t get behind the wheel,” said Hanson. “Nobody should end up in the back seat of a squad car, an ambulance, or god forbid a hearse because of that one fateful decision.”

With traffic levels now back to or above pre-pandemic levels in the state, patrols remind drivers to watch their speed, drive accordingly, wear their seatbelt, and never drive impaired.

They say if we all worked together to follow those four steps, the number of fatalities on Minnesota roads would significantly decrease.

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