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State traffic deaths down 11 percent

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The tallies on 2008 Minnesota traffic crashes have been released and they show that Minnesota traffic deaths decreased by 11 percent last year,

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According to the "Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2008" released by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety:

- Traffic deaths dropped to 455 in 2008 (versus 510 in 2007). The 2008 deaths represented the lowest number since 1945.

- The state recorded the lowest number of alcohol-related traffic deaths with 163.

- Alcohol-related crashes accounted for 36 percent of all fatalities, which is typical for each year.

- There were 72 motorcycle deaths, representing 16 percent of all fatalities, and the largest number of rider deaths since 1985.

- There were 31 teenager deaths, down from 41 deaths in 2007.

Locally:

- Bemidji did not have any fatal accidents in 2008, but had 89 personal-injury crashes and 220 property damage accidents.

- Beltrami County had four fatal accidents in 2008, which was the same number from 2007. There were 200 personal-injury accidents and 369 property damage accidents for a total of 573 accidents in 2008, up from 528 in 2007.

- Cass County had seven fatal accidents in 2008, which was up from seven in 2007. There were 102 personal-injury accidents and 155 property damage accidents for a total of 264 accidents in 2008, down from 347 in 2007.

- Hubbard County had three fatal accidents in 2008, which was the same number from 2007. There were 85 personal-injury accidents and 90 property damage accidents for a total of 178 accidents in 2008, down from 188 in 2007.

- Itasca County five fatal accidents in 2008, which was one-half the number from 2007. There were 194 personal-injury accidents and 346 property damage accidents for a total of 545 accidents in 2008, down from 574 in 2007.

The full "Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2008" report is available online at www.dps.state.mn.us/ots by clicking on "Crash Data and Reports."

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