ST. PAUL -- The Department of Public Safety says at least 12 people have been killed on Minnesota roads since February 28th.

Since January 1st, 51 people have died on Minnesota roads according to the Department of Public Safety. That number is two more than this time last year, but nine fewer than 2012.

The most recent deaths include the three Carlton College students who died in a crash near Northfield. And four young men you lost control of their vehicle west of Sleepy Eye. All seven were under 21-years-old.

Donna Berger is the DPS Office of Public Safety director. She says the people who lost their lives in these crashes are the reasons we need to take driving seriously.

Berger also points out that the drivers were not the only victims in these crashes. She says passengers need to make smart choices regarding their own safety when getting into a vehicle, such as buckling up and speaking up if a driver engags in risky behavior.

In 2012, young men ages 15-34 were involved in 54 percent of crashes and 71 percent of fatal crashes due to distracted driving and unsafe speed.