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While safety is important year-round, the City uses June to highlight efforts to prevent injury and death through National Safety Month. Traffic injuries continue to be one of the leading causes of death globally. The NHTSA reports that there are on average 99 fatalities and 7,507 people injured every day from car accidents in the United States.
Keeping Blaine roads safe is a main priority of Blaine Police Department’s Traffic Unit, which consists of three full-time officers, one of which is focused on DWI enforcement, and a dedicated sergeant. These officers concentrate on traffic safety using enhanced enforcement, education, and partnerships with other City departments such as Engineering and the state’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) initiative.
Complaints come to the Traffic Unit through dispatch or directly from residents through the city website. Officers gather information before addressing the issue, which could involve surveys, extra enforcement, or engineering changes such as light cycles and updating signs.
Enhanced enforcement is highlighted during Blaine Traffic Safety Week, which is coordinated by the Traffic Unit every June (June 5 -9 this year). Blaine officers and other local law enforcement agencies funded by TZD will have daily focus topics such as speeding, seat belts, drunk driving, distracted driving, pedestrian safety, and commercial vehicle inspection.
This year, the Traffic Unit is partnering with Blaine High School to assist with its driver’s education program. New drivers will hear directly from officers about the reality behind traffic safety.
Minnesota fatalities in 2021 were the highest since 2007; 488 individuals lost their lives. Speeding was the cause of 171 deaths, followed by unbuckled motorists (110), drunk driving (74), and distracted driving (27).
Everyone can practice safe driving. Do what you can to reduce your risk - focus on driving, be aware of others on the road, and follow traffic rules.