2016 Toward Zero Deaths Conference

November 16-17, 2016
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center
Duluth, MN

Image of the 2016 TZD conference

Conference Materials


Why is Grandma Asking for Directions to the Local Store? Assessing Older Driver Cognition and Safety
Is grandma safe behind the wheel of a vehicle? There is a variety of evidence-based assessment tools that can help law enforcement, emergency medical services, emergency department personnel, and primary care providers, as well as families and the older adult themselves, to determine whether grandma is cognitively and physically safe to drive. This session explored a range of available tools—from quick screens and self-assessments to more comprehensive evaluations—along with recommended decision-making and referral processes that can help make that determination.

Dark Pool 360
Early on a November 2013 morning, an auto slid into a retention pond in St. Louis Park. What followed were the efforts of dozens of responders to locate, extricate, and treat five children trapped underwater. Starting with the initial response, this session moved through the investigation and the impact of this crash on the lives of public safety professionals who were there that day.

Handling the Many Layers of a Sovereign Citizen Traffic Stop 
Self-proclaimed sovereign citizens (those who believe in a government-free ideology) regularly find themselves in conflict with the law. History has shown that the prospect of violent actions and threats to officer safety should not be discounted. Attendees learned how to stay safe during an encounter and effectively handle the situation. Investigative and courtroom tactics, ideology, and indicators were also discussed.

Participatory Research to Identify Roadway Safety Priorities in Tribal Communities
Community-based participatory research can complement available federal and state crash data to assist transportation policy makers with American Indian reservations to better understand roadway safety priorities. Safety improvement funding relies on data that might not be available on tribal reservations. To help with this, the research team interviewed hundreds of key stakeholders and other tribal members at four Minnesota reservations to gather knowledge and experiences on roads used by the community, and used this data to inform engineering and policy interventions. These methods are being developed so that other tribal governments can similarly identify and present these data.

Drug Trend Update: Prescriptions, Medications, Synthetics, and the “New” Marijuana 
Is your driver using drugs? Are they talking medications? An estimated 52 million Americans have abused prescription medications. New synthetic compounds are imported every day and they can cause unpredictable, often toxic effects. Additionally, new types of high-potency marijuana abound. This session presented cutting-edge information on what drivers are ingesting before they turn the key.

Traffic Safety Culture: Keeping Our Roads Safe Across All Generations 
Traffic safety culture is different among the generations. This session provided a brief overview of where Minnesota is at regarding the level of acceptance of traffic safety in various groups. It also highlighted some new technologies and tools, including new smartphone technology for the mature driver, employer-based policies and incentives for the working population, and a peer influence model for distraction-free driving for teens.

MnDOT District Safety Plans, Rail Safety Plans, and ITS Rail Safety Strategies 
This session provided an overview of the analysis process and findings from the most recent MnDOT District Safety Plans and the Rail Safety Plan. It also included a deeper dive into an innovative ITS Traffic Queue Warning System for railroad crossing approaches.

Am I Detained?
Thanks to mobile devices, the Internet is loaded with videos taken by suspects in traffic stops. This footage sometimes shows officers in a less-than-favorable light. This session explored specific problem scenarios encountered by officers during these events, including attempts by suspects to “set up” the officer for a civil lawsuit claiming a breach of constitutional rights, baiting the officer into violence, or other improper conduct and challenging officer authority and techniques. Fourth Amendment principles were also discussed as they relate to the contact and detention of suspected impaired drivers

From Stop to Conviction: Processing the Drug-Impaired Driver 
Drug-impaired driving is increasing daily. This panel discussed the successes and limitations officers and prosecutors will encounter during the stop, when obtaining the test sample, when analyzing the sample, and during their trial.

The Walking Drugged
Attendees learned about and discussed the current trends in drugs of abuse in Minnesota and in the U.S., including the morbidity and mortality associated with these agents. The physiological effects of street and synthetic drug use and abuse were also addressed.

Engineering and Law Enforcement—Working Together in Work Zones
Because work zones, by nature, disrupt the normal traffic flow and driving behavior (which can increase crashes), special considerations need to be taken when enforcing the law within work zones. This session highlighted safety concerns within the work zone and how engineering and law enforcement work together to improve the safety of highway users. Elements such as vehicle speeds, intrusions, crashes, and enforcement methods were discussed.

DWI Mock Trial
Mock trials are an effective tool for providing law enforcement and prosecutors with experience in case presentation and obtaining feedback and guidance for improving trial performance. This interactive workshop allowed law enforcement and prosecutors to observe and comment upon the presentation of testimony in a DWI case.

Secrets of Creating a Successful Pedestrian
Reducing pedestrian crashes is part of TZD’s mission. Implementing a successful pedestrian safety campaign involves collaboration among government, the private sector, community groups, and advocates. The City of St. Paul was fortunate to partner with these groups around the creation of the Stop For Me campaign. Several group members shared secrets of the recipe for the successful campaign that changed driving culture and increased safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.

Understanding Minnesota GDL Laws—and Is It Working?
Minnesota GDL laws can be confusing for teens, parents, law enforcement, and even driver educators. Participants were provided with a clearer understanding of GDL laws and their relationship to teen driving risks, as well as resources and strategies available to communities to help address teen driver safety issues.

You Know the 4Es—How About the 4Rs? RCUTS, Roundabouts, Rail, & Rural
Pedestrians and bicyclists have unique roadway experiences. This session focused on safety lessons for bicyclists and pedestrians interacting with Reduced Conflict Intersections (RCIs) and roundabouts, safety lessons learned from our light rail system, and bicyclist and pedestrian safety in rural settings.

Communicating CPS Across Cultures 
Educating drivers about how important it is to use proper child passenger restraints is difficult. Conveying that information to new immigrants and underserved communities can be even more challenging. It’s not as simple as translating traditional messages into other languages. In fact, doing so can sometimes cause more harm than good. This session explored ways to reach and connect with members of Minnesota’s underserved communities.

What’s Happening with Community Outreach Initiatives Across the Nation? 
Fresh from the Lifesaver’s Conference, several attendees shared education-based ideas and initiatives from across the nation that you can bring back to your community. 

Putting Our Heads Together, Road Safety Audits… TZD Style
Road Safety Audits are an excellent way to bring together the various “Es” to address specific roadway safety issues and help move troublesome highway corridors toward zero deaths. This session highlighted a recent Road Safety Audit conducted for U.S. Highway 12, located east of the Twin Cities, which sparked physical changes and created community engagement.

Best Practices for Using Car and Driver Data + An Overview of Minnesota’s Ignition Interlock Evaluation 
Technology continues to increase, both in cars and with drivers. This session focused on best practices to access and use data to aid in your investigations. Ignition interlock was explained, including how it works, how some people are circumventing the system, and what to do if you find an ignition interlock system that has been compromised. In addition, an overview of the recently completed Ignition Interlock Evaluation was presented. Attendees heard what has been learned over the last four years with this program.

Legislative and Case Law Updates
This session reviewed recent appellate decisions and legislative changes impacting DWI enforcement and discussed what the road ahead looks like.

What is RAVE and POLD? It’s Not Alphabet Soup!
Retail Alcohol Vendor Enforcement (RAVE) and Place of Last Drink (POLD) are two education and enforcement initiatives. RAVE educates licensed alcohol establishments in safe and responsible alcohol service, while POLD focuses on incidents where over-serving occurred and it has been determined that these incidents are tied to other criminal activity. These strategies have proven successful in limiting over-serving of alcohol that contributes to traffic crashes, assaults, and other alcohol-related crimes. This session showed attendees how to set up these programs in their community and reviewed successful efforts already happening.

Conference Planning Committee

View a list of the individuals serving on the 2016 TZD Conference Planning Committee.


The conference is offered by the Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths Program and the Minnesota Departments of Public Safety, Transportation, and Health. The conference is hosted by the University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies and facilitated by the College of Continuing Education.

Additional sponsorship has been received from:

Silver ($2,500)

Life Link 3 RegionsWSB

Bronze ($1,000)

AAA MobileyeNorthland Chapter of ATSSA