U.S. traffic deaths drop to 47-year low: UPDATE
Here's an update to my earlier post about highway deaths. Karen Aldana, spokeswoman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, provided the agency's view of what -- in addiition to a nationwide decline in miles driven -- contributed to the dramatic drop in U.S. highway deaths in 2008.
Aldana said factors included more seat belt use, safer vehicles and stronger enforcement of drunk-driving laws.
In other news coming out of Washington, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a 17 percent drop in work zone fatalities and injuries in 2007 -- the sharpest decline since the government started tracking the statistics. Figures for 2008 are not yet available.
The number of fatalities in work zones dropped from 1,004 in 2006 to 835 in 2007, according to the Department of Transportation. LaHood announced the decline as part of a national push to raise awareness of the hazard of highway work zones.
In Maryland, legislation is working its way through the General Assembly that would permit the statewide use of speed cameras in work zones as well as near schools.