About MN TZD

10 Years of Progress

Minnesota TZD celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2013. For highlights from the last decade, check out the Minnesota TZD: 10 Years of Progress (1.5 MB PDF) report.

Minnesota TZD is the state’s cornerstone traffic safety program, employing an interdisciplinary approach to reducing traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths on Minnesota roads. While individual disciplines have a long history of successful traffic safety programs, TZD aims to tie these together with a common vision and mission for even greater success. The TZD program uses data to target areas for improvement and employ proven countermeasures.

The TZD program team works in partnership with community and corridor groups to improve the traffic safety of a designated area. Toward Zero Deaths provides technical assistance, materials, and guidance to local groups that are committed to reducing crashes and the fatalities and severe injuries that result from them.

The TZD program co-chairs are Mike Hanson, director of the Office of Traffic Safety, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, and Jay Hietpas, director of the Office of Traffic Engineering, Minnesota Department of Transportation.


Since the 1990s, the Minnesota Departments of Public Safety and Transportation have worked together to find better solutions to the problem of serious injuries and fatal crashes on Minnesota roadways.

In 2001, the North Star Workshop brought together experts from many Minnesota research organizations and state agencies — as well as presenters from Washington, Sweden (where the “zero-deaths” concept was first adopted), and Australia — to share information. The Toward Zero Deaths program developed out of the momentum created by the North Star workshop.

The statewide TZD program was launched in 2003 by the Minnesota Departments of Public Safety, Transportation, and Health as a deliberate, interdisciplinary approach to traffic safety. The members of the TZD program team realized that moving toward a goal of zero deaths would require cooperation among state agencies as well as a way to build connections between state agencies and local organizations.