Editorial: Road deaths trend affects rural areas

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 22, 2002

A recent report by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety should drive home a clear message to motorists: Slow down and don’t drive drunk.

According to the information, 138 people died on Minnesota roads between Jan. 1 and last Monday. That’s up 42 percent from the first three months of 2001 when 97 fatalities were reported. At that rate 800 people could be killed while on the road by the end of the year.

The driving public as well as states, such as North Dakota, which are entertaining the idea of increasing speed limits should take note.

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It’s even more alarming when you consider that summer isn’t here yet. As often is the case, more accidents occur during that busy stretch of the year.

For the most part, people living in an area like Albert Lea assume that traffic accidents occur mainly in metro areas where cars are jockeying for position at dangerous speeds. In fact, however, most fatal crashes happen in rural areas. The report attributed only 29 percent of those crashes to the urban areas.

What does this all mean?

It means that no meeting or party is worth risking your life for. If motorists take that to heart then maybe this disturbing trend will reach a dead end.