Minn. Traffic Deaths Up In 2012, First Increase In 5 Years

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the first time in five years, traffic deaths in Minnesota are up — roughly 6 percent since 2011.

The Department of Public Safety said 378 people were killed in 2012, compared to 368 deaths on Minnesota roads in 2011. The final total, which will be available in early summer, indicates the increase will be about 6 percent higher than the 2011 total.

Officials expect the common traffic safety issues will again be the primary factor in the increase — drunk driving, non-usage of seat belts, speeding and distracted driving.

But despite the higher total, 2012 remains the second safest year (behind 2011) since 1944 — when 356 people died on state roads.

2012 Preliminary Death Results
The 378 deaths include:
• 281 motorists — down from the final 283 in 2011.
• 53 motorcyclists — up from 42 in 2011.
• 38 pedestrians — even with the 38 in 2011.
• Six bicyclists — up from five in 2011.

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