Minnesota traffic deaths rise in 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Traffic safety officials say Minnesota last year saw its first increase in traffic deaths since 2007.

The final crash report shows Minnesota had 395 traffic deaths in 2012. That’s a 7 percent increase from 2011, when 368 deaths were recorded.

But officials say it represents a 40 percent drop in deaths from a decade ago.

Officials cite a mild winter, a slight increase in miles traveled and a jump in motorcyclist deaths in 2012 as reasons for the increase.

The 2012 fatality count is the second-lowest annual death figure since 1944 when 356 people were killed.

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