Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Nov. 26 , 2013

Orange barrels on a highway

Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths Star Award winners from northeast Minnesota announced


DULUTH, Minn. – Three recipients from northeast Minnesota received Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths Star Awards, which was announced at the statewide TZD conference mid-November in St. Cloud.

Victor “Vic” Lund, St. Louis County traffic engineer, won the TZD Engineering Star Award. Jason Manning and KQDS jointly won the Toward Zero Deaths Media Star Award at TZD annual conference, where more than 900 traffic safety professionals gathered.

The Toward Zero Deaths Star Awards are given to recognize excellence in engineering, enforcement, judicial/court systems, education, emergency medical and trauma services, child passenger safety, media and distinguished public leadership.  Award recipients have demonstrated exceptional creativity, leadership and organizational skills as well as the ability to successfully collaborate with and motivate others in efforts to reduce traffic-related deaths and serious injuries on Minnesota roads.

TZD Engineering Star Award
Vic Lund, traffic engineer for St. Louis County, displayed extensive leadership in transportation engineering. His accomplishments include drafting the first traffic sign policy for St. Louis County, serving as the co-chair of the Minnesota County Engineers Association Highway Safety Committee and serving as a founding member of the Driving for Safe Communities Coalition. He has also developed an adult traffic safety class for St. Louis County employees, which has since been taught in other workplaces.  In addition, Vic consistently presents at a variety of workshops, meetings and conferences regarding traffic safety.

“Vic pushes the envelope to implement new engineering strategies that improve safety on county highways”, says Duane Hill, MnDOT District Engineer and Northeast Minnesota TZD Steering Committee co-chair. “He believes that local agencies should be leaders in pursuing these types of safety strategies and he always takes the time to thoroughly explain controversial traffic issues to each person who contacts his office.”

Past recipients: Dave Kopacz, Federal Highway Administration (2008); Dave Engstrom, MnDOT (2009); Wayne Sandberg, Washington County (2010); Mark Vizecky, MnDOT (2011); Brad Estochen, MnDOT (2012)

TZD Media Star Award
The recipients of this year’s Media Star award are Jason Manning and KQDS Radio.  KQDS is a classic rock station covering Duluth, Brainerd and large portions of the Iron Range and northwest Wisconsin. Jason is the station’s morning on-air announcer.

In 2001, Jason and KQDS began a partnership with the Minnesota State Patrol related to traffic safety, with the goal of raising awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving prior to New Year’s Eve. This was the beginning of what would become the “Ask the Trooper” segment.

Jason, KQDS and the Minnesota State Patrol have now been running the “Ask the Trooper” segment for 12 consecutive years. It airs for 20 to 30 minutes during the Monday morning commute.  In total, more than 500 segments have shared public information about driver safety.

Jason has also called on the State Patrol for input on larger issues and has always been willing to relay road conditions and public safety information at any time.  Because of the segment’s success, radio stations in the metro area and other regions throughout Minnesota have launched segments with similar formats. 

Past recipients: Jeff Passolt, FOX-9 (2008); Stan Turner, Minnesota News network (2009); Star Tribune (2010); Trish Van Pilsum, FOX-9 News (2011); ABC 6 news team, KAAL-TV (2012).

A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.




Pay Attention Slow Down in Workzones