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Forum News Service, Published January 16 2014

Minnesota driving deaths down in 2013

ST. PAUL - Fewer drivers died in Minnesota accidents last year than in 2012.

The Public Safety Department on Thursday reported the preliminary 2013 road death toll at 375, down from 395 a year earlier and a peak in the past decade of 567 in 2004.

“Despite last year’s dip in traffic fatalities, these numbers still reflect far too many victims who have lost their lives on our roads,” the department's Donna Berger said. “We continue to encourage all drivers to make good decisions about driving sober, buckling up, slowing down and eliminating distractions.”

The department reported that the fatality report includes 31 pedestrians, six bicyclists, 60 motorcyclists and 278 motorists. The only area that saw an increase from 2012 was motorcycle drivers, where the death toll rose five from 2012.

The deadliest 2013 months were July (52), September (50) and November (38).

Preliminary reports also indicate 23,800 motorists were charged with drunken driving last year, up nearly 400 from a year earlier.