I just heard Michael Hegarty, spokesman for AZ GOHS and/or AZ GTSAC, on the radio reporting that 2007 traffic fatalities fell to 1066 — a 17% decrease from 2006.
This would be an enormous decrease. He seemed pretty nonchalant about it. A drop of this magnitude is unprecedented.
Bicyclist’s fatalities fell the most, 27%, which is good news of course. But I must caution that since there are very few this number fluctuates greatly from year-to-year. The number of bicyclist fatalities has varied from as low as 15 to as high as 36 over the past couple of decades, with no perceptible trend.
Anyway, overall this would be consistent with a large reported drop on state highways (as opposed to all roads). This data was announced back in January and comes out much sooner than the whole-state rollup.
Press accounts published June 6th papers were likewise muted: Arizona Republic and KOLD ran the AP account, East Valley Tribune, which carried this breakdown, sourced to the GTSAC, though I can’t find anything on their website:
Associated Press – June 5, 2008 6:04 PM ET
PHOENIX (AP) – State officials say traffic accidents are claiming fewer lives in Arizona.
The Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Council says 1,066 people were killed in traffic-related accidents in 2007. That’s down 17% from the 1,288 deaths in 2006.
The council also says the 2007 figure is the lowest since 2001 and that the state’s population has grown by more than 1 million since then.
The council credits driver education and law enforcement efforts for the reduction.