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Minnesota trucking related fatalities at lowest number in 10 years

Continuing a downward trend, cars and trucks collided less often in Minnesota during the past year than any year in the last decade.

According to statistics reported in the latest edition of Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts, published by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the number of truck-related fatalities has trended downward from 94 in 1999 to 58 in 2009 showing a 38.2% decrease. This is the lowest number in 10 years.

The safety report for the last year shows the trend continues with a 26.5% decrease of fatal crashes from 2008 to 2009.

"Preventing crashes is the number one priority of every professional truck driver," said John Hausladen, president of the Minnesota Trucking Association. "This data is welcome news and a real encouragement to our on-going safety efforts. Most people don't realize that the safest drivers on the road are truck drivers."

The Minnesota Trucking Association (MTA) has advanced a number of safety initiatives in recent years, including the recent "Keep Both Hands on the Wheel" safety campaign encouraging drivers to put down the cell phones and focus on driving. The MTA has been a key partner in the state's Towards Zero Deaths initiative and actively lobbied to pass the state's primary seatbelt law in 2009. In the past, the organization has also called for a national maximum 65 mile per hour speed limit for all vehicles.