State transportation and law enforcement officials from around the state have set a lofty goal of reducing the number of traffic deaths in a year by about 20 percent by the year 2008, but don’t seem to be willing to take on one of the factors that has seen the rates rise. State Highway Patrol officials say they want to reduce the number of traffic deaths to under a thousand a year – numbers not seen since 1993. It was a couple of years later when the maximum speeds on many of Missouri’s roads were raised. Law enforcement officials admit speed does play a factor, but the State Transportation Department’s Roger Schwartze maintains it is the difference in speeds at which vehicles travel that has the greatest impact. MoDOT plans to use better signage and better engineering to make roads safer while law enforcement plans to use driver education and a better police presence out on the highways to help reduce the number of traffic deaths.
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