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Sixth Judicial District Judge Mark Starr Honored for Efforts to Improve Traffic Safety

Posted: Friday, November 09, 2012

Sixth Judicial Distirct Judge Mark Starr was recently honored by Minnesota's Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) program with its Star Award in recognition of his efforts to improve traffic safety in St. Louis County, where he is chambered. He was presented with the award, in the category of Judicial and Court Systems, at the TZD annual conference on Oct. 22.

Each year at the conference, the TZD program gives awards to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence in their efforts to move Minnesota toward zero deaths.  The Star Awards are given to recognize excellence in enforcement, emergency medical and trauma services, education, engineering, child passenger safety, judicial/court systems, public leadership, and the media. Award recipients have demonstrated exceptional creativity, leadership, and organizational skills, and the ability to successfully motivate and collaborate with others, in efforts to move toward zero deaths on Minnesota’s roads.

In April 2010, Judge Starr began tracking information on the last location that individuals charged with DWI were served alcohol. He was instrumental in getting Sixth Judicial District Judge David Ackerson, also chambered in St. Louis County, involved in the same process. Both judges now provide information on the last place an individual was served alcohol to the Mesabi Safe Communities Coalition (MSCC) so the group can work with local bars that may be consistently overserving customers to provide server training.

Judge Starr's other collaborations with the MSCC include inviting the MSCC coordinator to service organization and professional meetings so that she can present data, recruit new members, and boost efforts to change social norms surrounding alcohol.

Judge Starr is also involved in the Hibbing Chemical Health Advisory Committee, which works to prevent underage and binge drinking.

Minnesota TZD is the state’s cornerstone traffic safety program, employing an interdisciplinary approach to reducing traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths on Minnesota roads.