Roadway Deaths Down in N.H.

January 3, 2007

New Hampshire can celebrate a reduction in the number of highway deaths in 2006.

Division of Motor Vehicles Director Virginia Beecher said fatal crashes dropped from 161 last year to 122 this year. She credits increased police presence for detering dangerous driving.

“I think the main contributing factors of motor vehicle deaths are speed and alcohol, and as result of more visibility, people slow down,” she told the Portsmouth Herald. “One (death) is too many, but I’m pleased by the numbers.”

Educational efforts and some changes in the law also helped, including one that prevents a rider from receiving a 30-day driving permit after repeatedly failing the state test, she said.

Though Bike Week in June saw several motorcycle fatalities around the state, the overall numbers for the year are down. There were 17 motorcycle riders killed this year compared with 39 in 2005.

Beecher said she’d like to see the Legislature pass laws requiring motorcycle helmets and seatbelts to save even more lives on New Hampshire’s roads.

“Statistics say, if you value your life, you’ll wear a seat belt,” she said. “Numbers don’t lie.”


Information from: Portsmouth Herald,

AP-ES-12-30-06 1248ES

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