Based on preliminary crash report information, Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, says there was a 5 percent decrease in traffic fatalities in 2011 when compared to 2010.

“As of January 3, 2012, Missouri traffic crash fatalities totaled 773 for 2011, compared to 821 traffic crash fatalities in 2010. This is the first year since 1949 that Missouri has experienced less than 800 fatalities. I appreciate the tremendous enforcement and education efforts of troopers throughout the state, and I thank Missouri’s drivers for joining us in trying to make each year safer than the previous.”

The 2011 fatality statistics in this news release could change if late deaths occur, or if other departments report fatal traffic crashes after this news release was sent out.