Lower Death Toll On State Roads; Police Credit Seat-Belt Law

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The death toll on Kentucky's highways reached a six-year low last year, which police attribute partly to the state's tougher seat-belt law.

State police said Wednesday that 852 people died in traffic crashes across Kentucky in 2007, according to preliminary statistics. The death count is down by 61 from 2006.

The decline coincided with the first full year for Kentucky's primary seat-belt law, which allows police officers to stop motorists for not buckling up.

The lower toll also came in a year when the speed limit was raised to 70 mph on rural stretches of interstate highways and parkways. State police Lieutenant Phil Crumpton says the higher speed limit had little impact because most traffic crashes occur on secondary roads with lower speed limits.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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