Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Oklahoma's Highways Were Safer in 2006

Oklahoma traffic fatalities dropped more than 6 percent from 2005 to 2006, according to figures reported this week in USA Today.

The newspaper said that traffic deaths dropped substantially in 16 states—a number that includes Oklahoma. The story said the reductions reflect "stepped-up enforcement and education campaigns."

New Hampshire led the nation in the percentage decrease in traffic deaths, reporting a 23.5 percent decline. Minnesota and Missouri reported declines of 15 percent and 14.6, respectively. Oklahoma's decline was 6.2 percent.

In the Sooner state, 801 people died in traffic fatalities in 2005. The number dropped to 751 in 2006.

State officials interviewed by USA Today said the decline was the result of stiffer drunken-driving laws in some states, improved highway design, and graduated license programs for young drivers.

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