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Distracted Driving Roundtable Brings Supporters Together

More than 100 supporters packed an auditorium at the Cargill® corporate headquarters in Wayzata on February 2 for an in-depth roundtable discussion about the dangers of distracted driving and how Minnesota can tackle the problem.

Co-sponsored by the Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation, the roundtable brought together lawmakers, state and federal officials, and the business community to talk about steps necessary to help pass new legislation in Minnesota to reduce the use of handheld smartphones while driving.

The Insurance Federation of Minnesota, along with the Minnesota Safety Council, sponsored a bill in the 2017 session to ban handheld cell phone use. The bill will again be featured prominently in the 2018 session. Representative Mark Uglem (R-Champlin) and Senator Jim Carlson (DFL-Burnsville), the bill’s authors, attended the discussion.

David MacLennan, CEO of Cargill—the world’s largest privately held corporation—opened the meeting. MacLennan noted that Cargill has more than 250,000 company and contracted workers around the world in many dangerous places. Cargill has never had a fatality-free year, something the company is working diligently to attain.

Federated Insurance Chairman and CEO Jeff Fetters was a keynote speaker at the event. Fetters remarked, “We’ve seen a problem for many years.” “It’s now our number one challenge and we are all focused on it.” He also noted, “On the commercial side, nearly half our claims now have some element of distracted driving or inattentive driving as a component.” “The laws have to change and this bill will help tremendously.”

Other speakers included Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman and Colonel Matt Langer, the head of the Minnesota State Patrol.

Ruth Kimmelshue, Corporate Senior Vice President, Cargill
Al Johnson, VP-Safety, Cargill
Jeff Fetters, Chairman & CEO, Federated Insurance
Representative Mark Uglem
Representative Frank Hornstein
Colonel Matt Langer, Chief, Minnesota Highway Patrol
Nancy Johnson, Minnesotans for Safe Driving
Jennifer Smith, StopDistractions.org
Nicholas Worrell, National Traffic Safety Board
Paul Aasen, President, Minnesota Safety Council
Moderator: Mark Ritchie, Former Minnesota Secretary of State

Special guests
US Senator Amy Klobuchar
Commissioner Mona Dohman, Department of Public Safety

Roundtable Partner Organizations
Insurance Federation of Minnesota
Network of Employers for Traffic Safety
Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths
Minnesota Business Partnership
Distraction-free Young Drivers of Minnesota

Founded in 1904, Federated Insurance is a national insurance and risk management organization that serves the property, casualty, and life insurance needs of clients in select industries. The organization has more than 500 recommendations from state, regional, and national associations and buying groups and is rated A+ (Superior) by industry analyst A.M. Best® Company.

At Federated Insurance, It’s Our Business to Protect Yours®

Federated Insurance Chairman and CEO Jeff Fetters sharing in the roundtable discussion.