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Traffic deaths at 13-year low

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- The number of people who died on U.S. highways dropped again in 2007 to historically low levels, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said Thursday.

The overall number of traffic fatalities fell to 41,059 last year, the lowest number since 1994, Peters said in a news release. In addition, the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 1.37, the lowest fatality rate on record.

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Peters said 2.49 million people were injured in highway accidents in 2007, the lowest recorded since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began collecting such information in 1988.

"Thanks to safer vehicles, aggressive law enforcement and our efforts, countless families were spared the devastating news that a loved one was not coming home last year," Peters said. "You can be sure that we're not stopping here, the quest is not over until that bottom line number is zero."

Motorcycle safety remained an issue, Peters said, with motorcycle fatalities account for 13 percent of all fatalities last year.

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