ST. PAUL – In a year where grim milestones seem to be happening every day, the Minnesotans mark another grim day as the state surpassed 100 road deaths – the first date this has happened in six years.
Preliminary reports from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Highway Safety show 102 people have died on Minnesota roads since Jan. 1.
“Excessive speed continues to wreak horrible and preventable havoc on our roads,” Mike Hanson, director of the Office of Highway Safety, said in a statement. “Alcohol, distraction and the lack of seat belts also continue to contribute to the loss of human life in 2021. It does not have to be so, and every Minnesotan has the power to stop heartache and making choices that keep everyone alive. Drive smart by slowing down, paying attention, planning for sober driving, and harnessing. “
Preliminary information on the first 100 road fatalities indicates 40% were speed-related fatalities and 21% were alcohol-related fatalities.
The milestone comes after a year of rising road fatalities. In 2020, 394 people were killed, according to preliminary data. This is the highest number of road fatalities in the state since 2012, when 395 people were killed.