State: Speed still major factor in highway deaths

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Increased seatbelt use and cuts in impaired driving have helped reduce the number of people killed in crashes in Louisiana and across the nation, but state officials say less progress has been made in reducing speeding, another major factor in those deaths.

Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, says speeding is a factor in almost one-third of highway deaths. In Louisiana, aggressive driving – which includes speeding – is a factor in more than half of all fatal crashes.

According to a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association, traffic deaths linked to speeding increased by 7 percent during the recent multi-year period covered by the study.

LeBlanc says there’s no way that shaving a few minutes by speeding is worth endangering a life.

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