Discussions involving Minnesota frequently mention cold winters and one of the largest state fairs in the country. However, the state is also home to nearly a dozen Indian reservations. While these areas are often associated with casinos and various outdoor recreations, they are also the population with the highest number of serious pedestrian accidents.
Minneapolis City Council members were recently informed of the results of a traffic safety study that was conducted in parts of the city. While the study pointed out sections of the metropolitan area where many car accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles have occurred, there were concerns that other areas were not appropriately addressed. City officials stated that more work needs to be done.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, 25 percent of fatal accidents can be attributed to negligent motorists. In spite of a bill being presented every year for the past several sessions, lawmakers have failed put the brakes on distracted driving accidents. This year, there is hope that lawmakers will take definitive steps to outlaw handheld devices while driving.
The majority of residents and visitors to large metropolitan areas, such as Minneapolis, likely do not view walking as a life-changing decision. Unfortunately, for several families, an innocent walk has turned into a devastating event that has left victims and survivors with shattered lives. Over a three-day span, four victims have been killed in pedestrian accidents, and one woman has suffered extensive injuries.
Police departments across the country often proudly announce when they acquire a new canine officer. Though much time and money is spent training these animals, they can prove to be a liability, especially when they break training. There have been several incidents in the Minneapolis area involving innocent victims suffering serious wounds from dog bites inflicted by canine officers.
This past June, a police chase ended in a driver trying to avoid arrest by plowing through a school playground. Three little children suffered serious injuries when the vehicle ran over them. This tragedy may emphasize the need for Minnesota State Police to revise their chase policies to try and prevent more injuries due to tragic car accidents.
Minnesota law requires motorists to yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian in a marked crossing as soon as he or she has left the safety of the sidewalk. Though the law is stated clearly, there have been countless pedestrian accidents that have resulted in serious injuries. Recent enforcement campaigns have shed light on how widespread the dangers are when drivers fail to obey this law.
Those who work for the United States Postal Service provide an invaluable service throughout the nation. They work in all climates and endure the hardships of harsh weather and unfavorable environmental conditions, including negotiating the traffic and road conditions in large cities and rural areas. They also face another hazard -- unprovoked animal attacks that occur too frequently in cities such as Minneapolis.
Every year, Minnesota police respond to numerous reports of collisions involving motorcycles. There have been three riders who have recently died in tragic motorcycle accidents. Though one of those crashes may have been caused by operator error, two of those deaths resulted from the actions of another motorist.