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      Traffic deaths in Missouri are down

      The Missouri Highway Patrol said the number of traffic deaths in Missouri dropped by five-percent last year.

      The patrol said 773 people died in 2011, down from 821 people killed in 2010.

      It was the first year since 1949 that Missouri has had fewer than 800 fatalities from traffic accidents.

      But it also continued a downward trend.

      In 2005, more than twelve hundred people died in traffic accidents in the state.

      That number has decreased every year since then.

      "The last time we had less than 800 fatalities was in 1949, so I think this is a tremendous number. We're committed to see that number decrease. We're going to do everything we can through enforcement and education to keep those numbers going in the right direction,â?? MO Highway Patrol's Lt. John Hotz said.

      Seven people have died in traffic accidents in Missouri in the first three days of 2012.

      Hotz said not all drivers were wearing their seatbelts in those accidents.

      He asks us to remind everyone who gets behind the wheel to buckle up.

      (The Associated Press Contributed)