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Nobles County forms Safe Roads Coalition

WORTHINGTON — Tuesday marked the first meeting of the Nobles County Safe Roads Coalition, an offshoot of the Traffic and Safety Committee.

The Worthington City Council approved the formation of the Safe Roads Coalition in hopes that the coalition would be able to lessen the county’s traffic and safety issues by implementing safety programs through collaboration with the regional Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) coordinators out of Mankato.

Annette Larson, the South Central and Southwest TZD Coordinator, led the meeting by detailing the numbers of fatal and serious injury crashes in the county and comparing them to the state of Minnesota’s numbers.

Different categories of crashes were addressed. Among these were lane departure, distraction-related, alcohol-related, speed-related and unbelted accidents. The coalition was briefed on how the numbers for each category have risen or fallen in the last four years.

Nobles County showed a large number of accidents with victims who were either killed or seriously injured due to being unbelted. Thirty-one percent of all fatalities and serious injuries in the state of Minnesota happened to people who were not wearing their seatbelt. In Nobles County, 49 percent of all fatalities and serious injuries occurred with people not wearing their seatbelt.

“Our mission at TZD is to move our Minnesota road (accidents) to zero,” Larson said. “In order to do that, we need to get more communities involved in an effort to get individuals to think about their behaviors when they are out on the roads.”

The Safe Roads Coalition is aiming to get more members by its next meeting in hopes of reaching even more community members.

The next meeting will be at 1:30 p.m. May 25 in the council chambers at Worthington City Hall.