Tennessee to release annual total of traffic deaths

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The state plans to release Tennessee's annual traffic fatality figures on Wednesday.

Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Transportation Commissioner John Schroer are holding a press conference to announce the totals, as well as the preliminary figures for how many deaths involved alcohol or unrestrained motorists.

The Transportation Department announced earlier this month that it will begin displaying the year-to-date fatality rate only on Fridays after months of running the numbers daily on digital message boards across the state.

State officials started displaying the running daily tally last April after seeing a sharp increase in fatalities in the first quarter of 2012. Schroer called the campaign a success despite the more than 1,000 deaths on the highways last year.

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