QUICK LINKS:

Start to 2014 Brings Higher Number of Fatal Crashes

Created: 02/18/2014 10:34 AM KAALtv.com

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The start of 2014 is nothing to celebrate for traffic safety.  As of February 12, 31 people have died in motor vehicle crashes, which is 10 more than last year.

State safety officials say there were two main factors in the increase, speed and poor seat belt use.

The Department of Public Safety says nearly two-thirds of those who were killed this year were not buckled in or were in speeding vehicles.  Alcohol was a factor in four of the crashes.

“It’s up to every person who gets behind the wheel to make a smart choice about how they drive,” said Donna Berger, director of OTS. “Stop this trend by always buckling up, driving at safe speeds, never driving impaired and paying attention.”

The state will use $8.5 million in federal grants to support overtime traffic safety enforcement and educational efforts across the state through September.

Photo credit: MGN