Report: Ohio traffic deaths at record low

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - State agencies say Ohio traffic deaths fell last year to the lowest level in more than 70 years of record-keeping, continuing a trend of safer roads.

Preliminary numbers released Wednesday show 1,028 people were killed in crashes in 2009, down 14 percent from the 1,191 fatalities in 2008, which had been the previous record low year.

Spokesman Tom Hunter with the Ohio Department of Public Safety says the primary reasons for the decline in deaths include better traffic enforcement, education and engineering.

He says a lesser role has been played by a fourth "E" - the economy, which has led to cutbacks in driving.

The state has been tracking highway fatalities since 1936. The deadliest year was 1969, when 2,778 people were killed on Ohio roads.

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