Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Oct. 25, 2018

Toward Zero Deaths honors Bemidji Area Schools

MANKATO, Minn. – The Bemidji Area School District was among the 10 individuals and organizations honored by the state departments of health, public safety and transportation for their work to improve traffic safety under the Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths program. The awards were announced at the statewide TZD conference Oct. 23-24 in Mankato.

The district received the Traffic Safety innovation Star Award, which is given for new or creative traffic safety solutions that help save lives on Minnesota roads.

TZD Star Awards are given annually to recognize those who display excellence in enforcement, emergency medical and trauma services, education, engineering, child passenger safety and judicial/court systems. They show leadership and creativity in efforts to improve traffic safety throughout the state and build partnerships with others working towards the same goal.              

The district initiated the “Flashing Lights” project to alert school bus drivers to the presence of students waiting to be picked up for school.

Two-hundred lights were installed at bus stops located along high speed, high volume roadways. The lights have different light settings and are customized with a blue Bemidji Area Schools logo. The lights help school bus drivers, and especially substitutes, identify students waiting at a bus stop.

Previously, students were using the rapid flash mode on their cell phone and waving flashlights to signal the approaching school bus.
The Minnesota TZD program is an interdisciplinary partnership with the state departments of health, transportation and public safety.

Learn more about TZD, including a full list of award recipients, at www.minnesotatzd.org.