The Otter Tail County Safe Communities Coalition is a group of individuals and agencies who work together under funding from the Toward Zero Deaths Safe Roads Program via the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The mission of the coalition is to raise awareness of traffic safety issues and to develop tools that can be used to reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from traffic accidents in Minnesota. Members represent agencies including education, public health, engineering, law enforcement, public safety and emergency medical and trauma services. The interdisciplinary approach is used to reduce deaths on Otter Tail County roads.
Unfortunately, Otter Tail County is ranked as one of 13 dangerous drunk driving counties. The group diligently works to reduce this ranking to be removed from the list by reducing drunk driving injuries and fatalities on county roads. The Sheriff’s Office applies for a Toward Zero Deaths enforcement grant each year to provide extra patrols during peak drunk driving times. The Safe Communities Coalition assists in advertising extra law enforcement patrols placed on roadways and attends events to encourage participants to find safe transportation.
Otter Tail County Public Health educator, Mahmoud Toumeh, coordinates the Safe Communities coalition. Toumeh states, “Our objective with the safe roads grant and the “Toward Zero Deaths” program is to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injury crashes in Otter Tail County along with increasing seat belt use rates through education, enforcement, engineering, and improving emergency services.” If you would like more information or would like to join the coalition, please contact Mahmoud Toumeh and “like” Otter Tail County Safe Communities Coalition on Facebook.