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According to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) Secretary Barry J. Schoch there were 1,291 people killed in crashes on Pennsylvania roads last year, the second-lowest number on record and 33 fewer than in 2010.

Fatalities in crashes involving a drinking driver decreased from 417 in 2010 to 379 in 2011, the lowest number in more than 10 years. Motorcyclist and bicyclist fatalities also decreased in 2011. Motorcyclist fatalities dropped from 223 in 2010 to 198 in 2011, while bicyclist fatalities decreased from 21 to 11 in that same time period. Fatalities in hit-tree crashes also decreased, with 295 in 2010 compared to 250 in 2011. Fatalities resulting from cross-median crashes decreased from 84 in 2010 to 48 in 2011, and head-on crash fatalities fell to 158, the lowest number in more than a decade.

While many fatal crash categories saw decreases in 2011, some categories increased. Fatalities in crashes involving a 16-year old driver increased from 19 in 2010 to 29 last year. Crashes involving trains or trolleys and vehicles resulted in six fatalities, an increase from one fatality in 2010.

The lowest number of traffic fatalities ever recorded in Pennsylvania occurred in 2009, when there were 1,256 fatalities. The state's traffic-fatality numbers are heading in the right direction, Schoch said, noting that in 2001, there were 1,531 fatalities.

What do you believe are the reasons for the decrease in fatalities on Pennsylvania's roads?

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