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Tennessee Highway Patrol says traffic deaths down by 50 so far this year


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The Tennessee Highway Patrol says fewer traffic-related deaths are being reported on roadways so far this year.

WBIR-TV (http://on.wbir.com/1IFItTQ) reports that that as of Aug. 11, there had been 50 fewer deaths than reported last year in the same time frame. The THP says the state is on track to have fewer traffic deaths than it recorded in 1963.

Data from the Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation show there were 961 traffic deaths in Tennessee in 2014. That's 35 fewer than in 2013, when 995 fatalities were recorded.

"If that trend continues, yes, it will be the safest year on record," THP Lt. Don Boshears said. "We hope it does."

He said THP programs including predictive crash analytics and educational events seem to be contributing to the decrease.

"We use crash data to schedule sobriety checkpoints, DL checkpoints, seat belts," Boshears said. "It's all done on crash data, past data. We'd also like to think the education side is (contributing), too. Anybody we can talk to about seat belts, distraction, impairment. We're trying to educate the public and trying to get them not to do those type of things."

Information from: WBIR-TV, http://www.wbir.com/

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