Florida traffic deaths hit 33-year low in 2011

TALLAHASSEE — Preliminary figures show Florida traffic deaths dropped to a 33-year low in 2011, although the state's population doubled in that span.

The Florida High Patrol reported Wednesday that 2,373 people died on the state's roads. That's down 71 from the previous year. It's the lowest toll since 1978.

Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles executive director Julie Jones noted highway deaths now have declined for six straight years.

Jones called that trend "encouraging" but said officials will continue efforts to drive down the numbers of crashes, fatalities and injuries.

Besides enforcing traffic laws, steps are being taken in the areas of licensing drivers, registering vehicles and leveraging technology.

Highway Patrol director David Brierton said many deaths can be avoided simply through buckling up and driving sober.

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