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Traffic deaths decline in Florida

By Staff | Oct 1, 2011

Traffic deaths continue to drop in Florida, according to 2010 statistics released by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles this week.

Numbers fell in most major categories, but pedestrian fatalities increased in 2010 by 3.5 percent statewide, as did motorcycle related fatalities, which were up almost 27 percent

Overall, Florida had a safer year as far as traffic fatalities are concerned, dropping by nearly five percent.

Alcohol related fatalities were down almost 21 percent statewide; drug-related fatalities were down 6 percent; and the number of byciclists killed in traffic related accidents were down 24 percent.

Captain Mark Brown of the Florida Highway Patrol said a combination of education and participation on the part of the motorist have helped to make 2010 safer than 2009.

“The safety of Florida’s roads are everyone’s responsibility,” Brown said. “We shouldn’t wait for the government to tell us to be better drivers.”

The number of crashes in Lee County was up slightly between 2009 and 2010, from 4,916 crashes to 4,970.

Fatalities decreased in Lee County however, with 80 deaths in 2009 and 65 in 2010.

The number of alcohol related crashes decreased in the same time span, from 617 in 2009 to 521 in 2010. Alcohol related fatalities went down in the same time period from 25 to 20.

The number of motorcyclists injured or killed declined between 2009 – 2010 but not by much. In 2009, 14 motorcyclists were killed in crashes while 11 fatalities happened in 2010. Likewise, 172 motorcyclists were injured in 2009 and 161 were injured in 2010.

With lawmakers instituting the mandatory safety belt law, campaigns like the “Click it or Ticket” and increased DUI awareness and enforcement. Captain Mark Brown said safety has improved from year to year.

“We’re trying to make the roadways safe for residents and visitors,” he said. “We need to continue educating the public and make sure these trends continue.”