2023 East Central Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths Workshop

May 18, 2023

11000 Craguns Drive
Brainerd, MN

About the Workshop

This annual workshop helps facilitate Minnesota TZD's goal of creating a collaborative, comprehensive, and regional approach to reducing traffic deaths and severe injuries.

Workshop Presentations

Welcome to the 20th Anniversary of TZD!

Speaker: Mike Ginnaty, District Engineer, MnDOT District 3, and East Central Minnesota TZD Regional Co-chair

East Central Regional Highlights

Speaker: Bill Van Koevering, East Central TZD Regional Coordinator

Traffic Safety Culture: Minnesota Updates and What Are Other States Doing?

Speaker: Kristine Hernandez, Statewide Minnesota TZD Program Coordinator, MnDOT Office of Traffic Engineering

Crash Data Presentation: What’s the Data Telling Us?

Speaker: Brian Harmon, Research Analyst Specialist, DPS Office of Traffic Safety

Recent trends in traffic fatalities and serious injuries statewide are concerning. Are there certain crash types that have contributed to this rise? Were the past years a brief spike, or do we see a new trajectory? This presentation reviewed regional crash trends with an eye toward the Strategic Highway Safety Plan and potential opportunities for future strategies.

Focusing on What Matters

Speaker: Amber Peterson, Managing Partner, Peterson & Perme Associates

Quite often, people feel overly impacted by their environment and helpless to change what’s going on in their own mind. Yet, our mindset (attitude and beliefs) is greatly impacted by what we choose to focus on. Who do we surround ourselves with? What is important that we should focus our energy? What boundaries should we hold around our values? This session guided participants to examine what they are focusing on in their lives, decide if it’s what they truly want, and empower them to make the changes they see they need to live a more fulfilled and satisfied life.

Intersection Safety Solutions: Roundabouts and RCIs

Speaker: Ken Hansen, District Traffic Engineer, MnDOT District 3

This session covered the construction projects in East Central Minnesota that are saving lives as we continue our efforts into the Safe System approach.

Aftermath of a DWI Crash: An Officer’s Comeback Story

Speaker: Samantha Strandberg, patrol officer, Lakeville Police Department

When Officer Samantha Strandberg signed on for her shift on July 31, 2021, she planned to aggressively seek out impaired drivers as she had done on so many shifts in Lakeville. Unfortunately, it was the impaired driver who found her firstby crashing into her patrol car and sending her to the hospital as a of the result of this serious injury crash. In this presentation, attendees heard about Officer Strandberg’s story of recovery and her long journey back to full duty as a police officerincluding the lasting impact of her traumatic brain injury and how it’s impacted both her personal and professional life.

Cannabis DWIs... They Aren’t So Simple

Speaker: Sgt. Tyler Milless, DRE coordinator, Minnesota State Patrol

With the constant rise in cannabis in Minnesota and the potential of legalization, it is essential to know how to detect cannabis-induced impairment. This session discussed the cannabis plant and what it does to the human body. Attendees learned specific things to look for when detecting someone impaired by cannabis.

School Bus Stop Arm Camera Grant Program

Speakers: Rahya Geisler, Program Coordinator, DPS Safety Office of Traffic Safety; and Lt. Brian Reu, District 4700, State Director of Pupil Transportation

School bus stop arm cameras have been installed in school buses across the region to keep students safe as they get on and off them. The cameras provided through the project help schools and law enforcement find the violators and hold them accountable. This presentation explained how the program works and discussed successes and challenges.

Workshop Goals

  • Encourage traffic safety as a priority for policymakers
  • Provide information on traffic safety issues in East Central Minnesota
  • Provide a method to bring traffic safety programs into your community
  • Spread successes of the East Central Minnesota TZD program
  • Network with other traffic safety advocates

Workshop Sponsors

More Information

With questions, please contact William Van Koevering, East Central Minnesota TZD Regional Coordinator, at 320-247-3811 or william.vankoevering@state.mn.us.