Effective the first of August of 2019, Minnesota drivers are only allowed to use their cell phones in the "hands-free" mode while driving. Drivers may still use the navigational features as long as the device is not being held in their hands. This law is an effort to reduce the number of distracted driving accidents, and motorists who are caught holding their phones will be fined.
Since 1998, fewer Minnesota travelers are dying in crashes along the state's roadways. However, in spite of the decrease in fatal collisions, there is still work to be done to further reduce the numbers of drunk driving accidents. Public safety advocates are urging a change in tactics to help ensure the safety of travelers.
Countless students begin their school day by riding a school bus. In the past year, there have been many tragic reports of children being struck by cars as they tried to get on or off their buses. One school system in Minnesota is currently testing new technology that may help prevent these types of horrendous pedestrian accidents.
For many Minneapolis residents, the advent of warmer weather means more opportunities to enjoy all that the metropolitan area has to offer, including outdoor activities in favorite parks. Unfortunately, these outings can leave visitors with lasting physical and emotional scars if they become the unwitting victims of animal attacks. One woman recently shared the details of her terrifying encounter with an unattended dog.
A parent's worst nightmare is losing a child or having him or her suffer grave injuries caused by a senseless and preventable accident. Sadly, every year, families experience the heartache of having a beloved child harmed while boarding or exiting their school buses. Recently, one Minnesota family received the horrible news that an 11-year-old girl suffered serious head injuries along with other injuries when she was struck after getting off of her school bus.
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.