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DPS: Quickest to 200 traffic deaths since 2009

The MN State Patrol has increased speed patrols for all of July in an effort to curb an irregularly deadly year so far on the roads.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minnesota — The Minnesota Department of Safety reports 202 traffic deaths in the state so far this year, the earliest to reach that mark since 2009.

The MN State Patrol is pleading with drivers to slow down and stay sober this weekend.

“We are really going in the direction we don't want to, and that's just too many traffic deaths,” said Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the State Patrol.

Last year, a pandemic year, fewer cars were on the road, but still there were 394 deaths on the road, the most in five years.

That trend continued in the wrong direction as the state is on pace for a 42-percent increase in speed-related traffic deaths compared to 2020, according to DPS.

“Speeds, impaired driving, distracted driving and folks choosing not to wear their seat belts,” Grabow said. “Our goal is never about the number of tickets we write or arrests we make; it's about trying to prevent these fatal crashes.”

The overall trend shows fewer motorists losing their lives due to alcohol, according to DPS.

DWI arrests have also subsided. Last year, 22,653 people were arrested for DWI, a 25 percent decline over a decade.

202 traffic deaths to date in Minn.

· 80 speed-related deaths

· 45 alcohol-related deaths

· 5 distracted driving-related deaths

· 46 unbelted motorist deaths


Reaching 200 traffic fatalities

2021: July 1

2020: July 30

2019: Aug. 3

2018: Aug. 5

2017: Aug. 2

2016: July 20

2015: July 12

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