Curt S. Mowers
Question: I watch my neighbors almost every day pull up to their mailboxes on the shoulder. The road has a shoulder, but traffic still has to move over to center line. It looks very unsafe. I have watched traffic flash their lights and honk their horns, but they keep doing it. What is the rule of the road in this case?
Q uestion: Once in a while I hear about safety in work zones, like road construction zones. How many workers are actually hurt or killed in them in Minnesota and how many crashes are there in work zones? Do we know really?
Question: I know that numerous police agencies have Dodge Chargers. Do you know if the State Patrol uses one, too, or do they use something else for similar purposes? Answer: For us, it is a specialty vehicle and not our typical fleet/patrol vehicle. The Charger “program” is run statewide. Almost every State Patrol district in the state currently has one, except Rochester and Thief River Falls; however, both of those districts have plans to acquire a Charger or similar unmarked vehicle in the near future.
Question: As a traffic safety official, I am very upset that people don’t realize that there is some significance as to what is going on with using the term “crash” as compared to using the word “accident” in news articles and other media. I see both terms used and I personally know that there is some intentionality about this. I know that you use the word crash for a reason, so can you do an article about this issue so that we can get everyone on the same page?
Question: There was a recent ruling by a judge that motorists can legally flash their lights to warn other motorists of a speed trap. How does this affect law enforcement and is this issue that simple, or is there a lot more to it than that?
Question: Is winter driving is really worse than summer? It seems like we hear a lot more about crashes in the winter time.
Question: My car has running lights and I always assumed that meant my rear lights were on as well, but my husband let me know one day as he was following behind me in the fog that my tail lights were not on. Since then, I have noticed that many other drivers must assume the same thing. You might want to let them know they need to actually turn on their lights during the day when it is foggy or they risk being rear ended.
Question: My neighbor has cattle and horses, and it seems like they are always getting out of the fences and many times out onto the road. In fact, a couple of times, he has had them hit by cars. Isn’t there some kind of law requiring animals to be kept a little more secure than that? Can he get into trouble with the law or get sued?
Question: What items do police officers ask you for when you are stopped? I see on television that it is different sometimes like in different states. Answer: “License and registration Ma’am” isn’t always the case, that’s for sure. I am asked this question frequently and I am happy to answer it for you yet once again, especially since we have so many enforcement projects going on.
Question : I would like to know what the final general crash facts were from 2012, so that when the 2013 facts are sent out, I have an idea of what is going on in comparison to the recent past. Answer : The 2012 fatality count is the second lowest annual death figure (behind 2011) since 1944, when 356 were killed. These facts are all on the Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety website. Minnesota has among the lowest fatal crash rates in the nation.