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Highway fatalities in 2014

MONTPELIER — Preliminary reports indicate a significant reduction in fatalities on Vermont’s highways in 2014 according to the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance (VHSA). The unofficial total of fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes in Vermont for 2014 was 43 (32 vehicle operators, six passengers and five pedestrians). This is a 38-percent reduction from 2013, which saw 70 fatalities on Vermont’s highways. Of the 43 fatalities, 46 percent were unbelted, about 25 percent involved drugs or alcohol and about 25 percent involved speeding.
“We have not seen numbers this low since World War II,” said VHSA Chair Kevin Marshia. “But we can do better. Through the VHSA, public and private stakeholders from around our state continue to work hard to push us ‘Towards Zero Deaths’ on Vermont highways. This includes law enforcement, educators, car dealers, insurance companies, nonprofit organizations and all levels of public officials.”
“I’m encouraged by the positive turn in the numbers, but 43 family tragedies is still too many,” said Transportation Secretary Sue Minter. “We must build on the progress we are making with our partners in the VHSA as we continue to drive this number in the right direction.”
“The state of Vermont has made great strides saving lives through enforcement, education, engineering safer roads and an improved ability to render medical aid immediately following a crash,” said Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn. “But we need the public’s assistance in keeping the roads safe for everyone. The 43 lives lost are devastating to all Vermonters and in most cases are avoidable.”
Final results for 2014 will not be announced until after Jan. 30, due to federal standards that require a waiting period before official reports are filed. Nationally there were 32,719 fatalities in 2013. For more information, visit the Highway Safety Alliance at http://highwaysafety.vermont.gov.

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