Traffic deaths slashed in half over Memorial Day weekend

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Early numbers reveal a big drop in traffic deaths in Tennessee over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Preliminary numbers are half of what they were for the same weekend last year, according to the Tennessee Dept. of Safety and Homeland Security and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

“The preliminary statistics on this year’s Memorial Day traffic figures and the decline in overall vehicular fatalities is an encouraging sign that enforcement efforts and traffic safety education campaigns are effective,” said THP Colonel Tracy Trott.

A breakdown of the numbers find five of the people who died were in cars, two of them were on motorcycles, and the last one was on a bicycle at the time. Alcohol was a factor in three of the deaths. Two people weren't wearing seat belts.

The decline reflects a year-long trend. So far, in 2013, 353 people have died on Tennessee roadways, compared to 412 at this time last year.

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