Traffic deaths increase 14% in Missouri

Fatalities reverse downward trend

An upsurge in traffic deaths in Missouri has prompted the Missouri Department of Transportation to help increase awareness of drivers to the growing number of fatalities and the importance of wearing a seat belt.

Starting on Wednesday, electronic roadside message signs will begin reporting the number of people who died and the percentage of those who were not wearing a seat belt.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports 70 percent of those who died in traffic crashes were not wearing a seat belt.

Until this year, Missouri had recorded six years of declines each year in traffic deaths.

Eileen Rackers, MoDOT State Traffic and Highway Safety Engineer, said the department is dismayed that traffic fatalities on Missouri roads are up 14 percent this year.

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