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Issue# 634: January 27, 2016
A Message from Chief Knight
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You Are Involved in a Car Accident 
What Do You Do?
If you are driver in an accident that results in personal injury, death or property damage totaling $1,000 or more, you must file a report with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety within 10 days. 

Minnesota Motor Vehicle Accident Reports are available on the Web at www.dps.state.mn.us/dvs or through law enforcement agencies.

The State of Minnesota Department of Public Safety has prepared a brochure, “In Case of a Crash”, to aid motorists involved in traffic accidents. BROCHURE HERE

Motorists are required to contact the police for all accidents involving personal injury or death.  If an accident results only in property damage, it is not necessary to notify the police.  However, the police should be notified if the damage includes a stop sign, semaphore, utility pole or other fixed object that may create a risk to public safety.   

If the Chaska Police are called to investigate an accident:
  • When there is no personal injury or damage to public property and the apparent total damage of the accident is less than $1000, the officer will facilitate an exchange of information.
  • When an accident is reported more than 12 hours following the incident a state accident report will not be written the officer, unless sufficient extenuating circumstances exist. 
  • In all cases except the above-mentioned situations, an accident will be investigated and a report submitted by the officer.  A report will also be written at the request of any involved party. 

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REDUCE DISTRACTED DRIVING
NO-TEXTING


Every day teens take their eyes off the road to tweet, text, snapchat, or post to the Internet. In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. According to NHTSA and the US Department of Transportation, drivers under the age of 20 made up 27 percent (about 850) of the distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes.

Social media isn’t going away soon, so educating younger drivers about the dangers of distracted driving is key to reducing deaths among them on our nation’s roadways. But looking at some of the messaging in social media, young drivers seem more inclined to make fun of bad driving behavior than correct it. On Instagram alone, more than 10,000 posts cite the hashtag #DistractedDriving, though not all of those are posted by young drivers. And that doesn’t take into account social media posts done behind the wheel without that hashtag.

Despite the evidence on Instagram, other teens have demonstrated an awareness that distracted driving is a problem. In a Liberty Mutual survey, teen drivers rated the following behaviors or activities as “extremely” or “very” distracting:
  • Instant or text messaging while driving – 37%
  • The teen driver’s emotional state – 20%
  • Having several friends in the car – 19%
  • Talking on a cell phone – 14%
  • Eating or drinking – 7%
  • Having a friend in the car – 5%
  • Listening to music – 4%
Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, published research by Emily Olsen in 2013 that attempts to explain the reason why teens text and drive. In her research, Olsen shows that teens often don’t see texting while driving as a safety hazard. She suggests this is “possibly because those who perceive greater emotional and social rewards associated with the behaviors are more likely to also perceive the benefits of these rewards outweigh the risks involved.” Could teens perceive that the rewards of posting to a social network site outweigh any safety concerns associated with distracted driving?

Educating young drivers about the dangers associated with distracted driving can help provide a more-informed context for making that decision to tweet, post, or text a friend.

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Texting while driving can also be costly. Not only can texting be deadly, but you also risk tickets and fines.

  • Put away your phone before you start driving.

  • Safely pull off the road (parking lot or rest stop) if you need to send a text.

  • Don’t tempt other drivers to text.

The Chaska Police Department reminds you to keep the roads safe – for yourself and others. Never text while driving!

(Sources: Emily O’Malley Olsen, Ruth A. Shults, Danice K. Eaton Pediatrics Jun 2013, 131 (6) e1708-e1715; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-3462 and Article by Stacey Tisdale / distraction, News / activity, distracted driving, distractions, Zero CrazyTeens in the Driver Seat January 19, 2016)




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Chaska Officers issued 24 citations and 25 warning during this reporting period.
There were 158 calls for service.
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DWI:
Police responded to a property damage accident in the drive-through of a restaurant.  One motorist left the scene without exchanging information, prior to police arrival.  The female offender was located a short time later.  She was intoxicated, arrested and charged with 2nd degree DWI and leaving the scene of an occupied vehicle crash.


Officer Reinhardt stopped a vehicle for driving conduct in the area of Hundertmark Road and Alexander Circle.  The male driver had consumed alcohol and failed field sobriety evaluations.  He was arrested and charged with DWI.  A breath test indicated a .128 BAC.

Disturbances:
Police received a complaint in reference to a suspicious vehicle and suspected drug activity.  Officers located and stopped the vehicle in the area of Hwy 41 and Hundertmark Road.  Two males occupied the vehicle.  Marijuana and cocaine, packaged for sale, were found as well as other evidence and paraphernalia.  The males face numerous drug-related felony charges.


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CITIZEN ACADEMY IS BACK
  Next session starting February 16th
         ~Limited Openings~
 
Citizen Academy is a seven-session program, in which people learn about police work in Chaska by experiencing police work. Lectures and actual hands-on experiences are combined for a unique insight into the police department.

The classes are held on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8 PM and are FREE!
 
The police department is providing an academy to increase partnerships with those who live in our community and create opportunities to receive feedback from participants to improve our delivery of services. Often there is little opportunity for both citizens and officers to share views and ideas.
 
If you are interested in participating in the academy please contact Officer Janke at 952-448-4200 or e-mail her at jjanke@chaskamn.com  to have an application sent to you.




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