Colorado traffic deaths plunge by 15 percent |

Colorado traffic deaths plunge by 15 percent

DENVER, Colorado – State officials say the number of people killed in traffic accidents in Colorado plunged by 15 percent last year to 464.

The state Department of Transportation said Thursday it’s the first time the death toll has been below 500 since 1988, when 497 people were killed.

Traffic deaths have been declining steadily since 2002, when 743 people were killed.

Gov. Bill Ritter says public education and enforcement and advances in engineering and emergency services helped reduce fatalities last year.

Numbers for seat belt use and alcohol-related crashes aren’t available yet for 2009.

In 2008, 40 percent of traffic deaths were alcohol-related, 33 percent weren’t wearing seat belts and 18 percent were motorcyclists.

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