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Minnesota traffic deaths increase

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota has seen 205 traffic deaths so far this year, according to Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the State Patrol. He said in a news release Tuesday that a year ago at this time, the count was 204.

A total of 368 died on Minnesota roads in 2011, the lowest annual total since 1944 and 44 percent fewer than in 2001.

This year’s total so far includes four bicyclists, 29 motorcyclists and 18 pedestrians, according to Grabow.

He said the end of summer, through the Labor Day weekend, will see stepped-up activity by law enforcement on state roads, especially targeting drunk drivers. Last year, one third of the traffic deaths involved a drunk driver.

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