Traffic Fatalities Decline for Sixth Straight Year

JEFFERSON CITY – The last time annual traffic fatalities were as low as the preliminary numbers for 2011, drivers lucky enough to have a radio in the car could cruise while listening to the new recording of Some Enchanted Evening by Perry Como.

Though the count will not be considered final for a few months, the Missouri Department of Transportation announced that as of Jan.4, Missouri traffic crash fatalities totaled 773 in 2011. This is nearly six percent lower than the 821 fatalities experienced in 2010 and the lowest total since the late 1940s.

“Last year was the sixth consecutive year Missouri’s crash fatality rate fell,” said Leanna Depue, MoDOT’s Highway Safety director. “We applaud Missouri drivers who pay attention, drive defensively and take care to travel safely. They share credit for this drop in fatalities with a number of hard-working law enforcement professionals and emergency services personnel, those who focus on highway and vehicle safety improvements and messengers who help people adopt safer behaviors. These dedicated folks help more people arrive alive.”

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, a group of safety partners, challenged the state to work toward a goal of 850 or fewer roadway fatalities by 2012. That goal was met in 2010 and has since been surpassed. But Depue said the coalition would not rest and would continue to work toward zero fatalities in Missouri.

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Missouri’s 7-Year Fatality Totals

2005        1,257

2006        1,096

2007        992

2008        960

2009        878

2010        821

2011        773 (unofficial)