2014 Toward Zero Deaths Conference

November 13-14, 2014
Duluth, MN



How Does Minnesota’s Traffic Safety Culture Impact Highway Safety?

Most people understand the risks of unsafe driving behaviors, but they refuse to apply what they know to themselves. Does Minnesota’s safety culture—our beliefs and values—view traffic safety as a priority? A new study will assess the state’s traffic safety culture. Then, how do safety culture initiativesincrease the effectiveness of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan and Toward Zero Deaths programs? These findings may impact your education and intervention campaigns as well as have the potential to increase their effectiveness.

TZD: Success by the Numbers

Our progress toward zero deaths is not an all-or-nothing effort; we will make progress on many small fronts over the course of several years. And indeed Minnesota has made progress! Did you know there are counties in Minnesota that have had zero fatalities? This session looked at data collected by the Minnesota Department of Health to show where TZD has had success, how data on case fatality rates has improved traffic safety, and how public use data sets can further reduce traffic morbidity and mortality.

Commercial Vehicle Crashes in Minnesota

This session covered the basics on how to identify a commercial motor vehicle, as well as post-crash requirements, procedures, and Minnesota State Patrol Commercial Vehicle Section response.

Reducing Fatal Crashes on Rural Two-Lane Highways

MnDOT implemented unique and controversial safety improvements on Highway 14 in concert with extraordinary enforcement by the State Patrol. These improvements have resulted in the elimination of fatal and serious injury crashes in the 18-plus months since implementation. Could these strategies be a viable alternative to expanding a highway from two-to four-lanes for safety purposes?

DWI Legislative and Case Law Updates

It has been a busy year for the legislature and appellate courts. This session reviewed how new laws and court decisions will impact DWI enforcement in Minnesota.

Marijuana: High Time for Discussion

Marijuana, America’s most beloved illegal drug, captures the headlines every day as more and more states and cities expand its use. Public opinion about marijuana has swayed dramatically in recent years. Attendees learned about marijuana today—the drug, the users, the science, the politics, and the impact on traffic safety—from Minnesota’s foremost expert on drug abuse.

Tips and Tricks for Using a Conventional Car Safety Seat for Children with Special Transportation Needs

This session provided basic information for determining whether or not a conventional car safety seat will work for children with special transportation needs either as a long-term or interim solution. An emphasis was placed on options for the escape artist.

Minnesota Takes Distracted Driving by Storm: Innovative Strategies and Collaboration

Tackling distracted driving is not easy. This session focused on the importance of working collaboratively with the 4 Es to educate the public. Attendees learned about the multifaceted approach in education efforts, including partnering with businesses, involving the community, distributing educational cards, sharing personal impact stories, and starting a little friendly competition between businesses and high schools. They also reviewed the unique ways law enforcement attacked this issue, including using MnDOT vehicles and the “Go Pro” initiative. Tactics and lessons learned were shared.

Priorities: The Necessity of Triage for Everyone

The crash happens, the call goes out, and you get to the scene; what do you do first? Many times the first arriving to a crash is not the ambulance, which is why everyone needs to know how to triage patients. This session educated on START triage and how to train on it with your peers. Attendees heard how this simple step will save lives and allow all who are responding to become more effective.

TZD Law Enforcement Grantee Session

This session focused on getting your enforcement message out to the community by using a variety of tools to work with the media. An important part of motivating officers is recognizing them for outstanding efforts; this session also described the Office of Traffic Safety’s recognition program and how individual grants can recognize their officers. Finally, it reviewed E-Grants and ROAR basics for new grantees.

Improving Intersection Safety

How can we reduce fatal and serious injury crashes at intersections? Minnesota is using several treatments to improve intersection safety. This session highlighted recent work with Rural Intersection Conflict Warning Systems (RICWS), Reduced Conflict Intersections (RCI), and multi-lane roundabouts to help reduce fatal and serious crashes.

DWI Court Evaluation and Screening and Brief Intervention Pilot Project

Attendees heard the results of the DWI Court Evaluation project, as well as updates on a new screening and brief intervention pilot project being done in St. Louis County with first-time DWI offenders.

SFST/DRE Instructor Update

During this session, current SFST and DRE instructors will discuss recent NHTSA updates and changes to the SFST and DRE programs. We also will prepare for upcoming changes in the training curriculum. This session is for current SFST and DRE instructors only.

The Importance of Feedback in Establishing Safe Teen Driving Behaviors

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen fatalities. The Teen Driver Support System (TDSS), a smartphone-based application, provides teen drivers with critical safety information at the time that unsafe driving occurs–and also can report this feedback to parents. A field operations test of 300 drivers was recently completed; this session showcased the results, including the role that feedback played in developing safe driving habits with teens.

TZD Safe Roads: Tips and Tools for Successful Traffic Safety Programs

This session provided an overview of the TZD Safe Roads grant program. Clarification of the approved grant activities as well as tips, tools, and strategies to effectively engage community and coalition members in traffic safety initiatives were discussed.

Data Analytics, eCharging, and Warrants for DWI Cases

This session discussed DWI analytics, a system that meets overlapping needs of various groups of stakeholders by providing a centralized and comprehensive service on all data related to DWI arrests and convictions. An impaired driving arrest is time consuming and paper intensive for the arresting officer, prosecuting attorneys, and DPS’s Division of Driver and Vehicle Services. More than 80 percent of Minnesota’s DWI’s are being done through eCharging.

Pedestrian Crossing Safety

In light of skyrocketing energy costs and more focus on personal health, modes of transportation outside of the motor vehicle are being provided and encouraged. As a result, pedestrian safety is becoming more critical and receiving much attention. While laws require motorists to yield to pedestrians, old habits are hard to break—which means drivers don’t always yield. This session focused on ways to increase the safety of pedestrians crossing roadways.

Show Me the Data—Upgrading Minnesota’s Statewide Crash Database

This session examined efforts under way to redevelop the crash database, increase efficiencies in crash report delivery, and support crash analysis within the state of Minnesota.

Point of Impact: Community-based Programs to Develop Safe Teen Drivers

Traffic crashes are the leading killer of Minnesota teens. Parents play a critical role in developing safer teen drivers and are the primary enforcers of Minnesota’s Graduated Drivers Licensing laws. This interactive workshop demonstrated how to effectively inform, engage, and empower parents of soon-to-be teen drivers. Attendees experienced how the Point of Impact parent awareness class works with audience participation as parents and teens.

Identifying and Addressing Over Service of Alcohol: POLD and RAVE

Place of Last Drink (POLD) and Retail Alcohol Vendor Education and Enforcement (RAVE) are two promising strategies to address over service of alcohol. POLD seeks to identify the location where a person last consumed alcohol when they are involved in an alcohol-related law enforcement call (DUI, assaults, and other offenses). Information collected by the investigating officer will be entered into a database and used to identify patterns and work to address problematic locations and serving practices. During RAVE, trained teams of officers make unannounced, undercover visits to liquor establishments to monitor and observe selling practices with particular attention to issues of over service.

Engineering 101: Tools Engineers Use to Promote Safety

This session explained the basic tips, tools, and best practices for improving roadway safety from an engineer’s perspective, including cable median barrier, left-turn designs, access control, medians, and islands.

How Are We Doing? A Critical Look at Various TZD-related Efforts

Do you see evaluation as an invaluable tool to improve your program? Or do you find it intimidating because you don’t know much about it? This session discussed the importance of taking a critical look at programs by featuring results of recent evaluations of the TZD regions, the primary seatbelt law, the Dimler legislation, and an unsafe driver study.

Ignition Interlock Vendor Oversight

Jim Beauregard, retired Morris chief of police, is creating a vendor oversight program for Minnesota. Attendees learned what they need to look for when stopping someone with an ignition interlock restriction. Beauregard also talked about what he’s finding in the field.

Motorcycle Road Guarding and SEE and Be Seen

A newer Minnesota State Statute has provided motorcyclists with a legal mechanism to conduct intersection traffic control for group rides. This session reviewed the Road Guard Field Guide, including road guard certification requirements, group ride route notification, recommended intersection control procedures, and a resource for law enforcement to confirm individual road guard certification status. In addition, attendees learned the basics of rider safety as presented in the Basic Rider Course, including SEE (search, evaluate, execute).

Synthetic Drugs: Recent Updates and the Impact on Today’s Driver

This session presented information concerning synthetic drugs, including the impact that they might have on the ability of users to safely drive. It explained changes that the Minnesota Legislature made during the 2014 session regarding synthetic drugs and provided information on rule-making that the Board is engaged in that will add additional synthetic drugs to Schedule I.

Coordinating Federal, State, and Local Safety Plans

Under the current federal transportation bill, MAP-21, there is greater expectation of coordination between state and local safety plans. What does this mean to MnDOT and DPS? How do we apply this to our existing safety plans such as the updated SHSP, County Road Safety Plans, District Plans, and MPO Plans?

Conference Planning Committee

View a list of the individuals serving on the 2014 TZD Conference Planning Committee.


The conference is offered by the Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths Program and the Minnesota Departments of Public Safety, Transportation, and Health, with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The conference is hosted by the University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies and facilitated by the College of Continuing Education.

Additional sponsorship has been received from several organizations at the following levels:

Gold ($5,000)


Silver ($2,500)


Bronze ($1,000)

Hiway Credit Union TSR WSB