Sgt. Curt S. Mowers
Question: Can you give some good last minute advice or information about traffic safety in a nutshell, since you are no longer going to be an active trooper after your July 1 retirement? Answer: Yes, in a nutshell. Remember that driving or riding in a motor vehicle is one of the most dangerous things you do on a daily basis. Everyone has to take personal responsibility for their own actions behind the wheel. Speeding really does kill, and more speed kills more.
It is the time of year where road construction mandates temporary signage restricting or detouring traffic. I contacted a Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Engineer to define what it all means. Here is what I was told: "Road closed to thru traffic" or "local traffic only" tells you that you need to take a different route and should only cross the barrier if you have no other option to reach your destination within the restricted area.
Did you know, in Minnesota over half of motorcycle crashes are single vehicle crashes? Motorcycle use is at an all-time high and the two primary factors involved when they crash are "driver inexperience" and "speed." Did you know one main reason that motorcyclists are killed in crashes is because the motorcycle itself provides virtually no protection? The occupant protection that is built in to our passenger cars protects us greatly but cannot be incorporated within a motorcycle.
Question: Why don’t we just let our youth drink at age 18 like we used to? They would have more experience and guidance by adults if we did.
Q uestion: I am a 34-year veteran police officer, nearing the end of my career. The recent snowfalls made me angry, seeing all the drivers not using their headlights.
Question: Often I see delivery vehicles of all kinds stopped in the roadway. Either they are double parked, parked near a fire hydrant, parked next to a yellow curb, parked parallel in an angle-parking spot (taking up numerous parking stalls) or parked in a no parking zone of some type. I see this all the time and have seen it for many years. In some cases they actually block in some cars that are parked legally or cause other hazards for vehicles, pedestrians or bicyclists. I have a difficult time with this issue and so do a lot of people I have talked with about it over the years.
Question : Is there still such a thing as a farm license? I remember some of my friends having one but that was a long time ago and they basically used it to drive all the time.
Question : How bad is winter compared to summer when it comes to crashes? Is it as bad as we think it is or what? It seems like we have a lot more crashes when the snow flies. How about some winter driving tips too for everyone? Thanks!
Minnesota State Patrol Question: I keep hearing you talking about “Four E’s” when it comes to traffic safety issues and I have even heard you talk about a “Fifth E”. What is that and why is it being talked about at certain times during the year? Answer: The Four E’s are critical components to traffic safety — education, enforcement, EMS and engineering. The Four E’s are a product of the statewide Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) program which is the umbrella initiative of all Minnesota traffic safety projects.
ASK A TROOPER Graduated driver license laws and parents By SGT. CURT S. MOWERS Minnesota State Patrol Question : Our community is trying hard to involve parents with our local driver education programs and we would like to see an article written about the graduated driver license laws and some comments about parental involvement. We think this information is critical to safe driving for our teens. Thank you for whatever you can do!