Published: Jun 14, 2010 6:15 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 14, 2010 3:15 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Florida Department of Transportation have joined together to announce that more lives than ever are being saved on Florida’s roadways.  Based on an analysis of vehicle miles traveled in 2009, Florida’s fatality rate dropped to 1.3 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled, the lowest rate ever reported in the Sunshine State.  

Safety officials pointed to the recent passage of the primary safety belt law, as well as numerous education and awareness campaigns, and the strategic enforcement efforts of law enforcement throughout the state.  This marks the fourth consecutive year in which both the number of traffic fatalities and the fatality rate have declined. 

“The safety of our residents and visitors is a top priority, and reducing fatalities on our roadways is a step in the right direction,” said Florida Governor Charlie Crist.  “I commend our safety advocates and law enforcement officers who ensure that Florida remains a safe place to work and play.”

FDOT Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos and DHSMV Executive Director Julie Jones also noted the positive effect of educational campaigns such as those targeting motorcycle safety and teen drivers, as well as law enforcement’s strategic approach to enforcing DUI and other traffic laws.

In coming weeks, the DHSMV will publish the 2009 Traffic Crash Statistics Report, which will provide detailed information regarding Florida’s traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities, including driver demographics and trend analyses.  For previous reports and information about the DHSMV’s education and enforcement efforts, visit www.flhsmv.gov.