Pa. highway fatalities shrank in 2011

    The numbers are in for highway fatalities in Pennsylvania last year, and PennDOT says it’s the second-lowest figure recorded. 

    Overall, there were just under 1,300 highway fatalities last year — 33 fewer than in 2010.But fatal crashes involving 16-year-old drivers were higher last year — there were 29 such deaths last year, up from 19 two years ago.PennDOT is hoping a couple newly-minted state laws curb that statistic.Spokeswoman Erin Waters says those include the law passed last fall limiting the number of people a teenage driver can have in the car during the first six months he or she is driving, and requiring teen drivers to wear seat belts.  “With the anti-texting while driving law, we’re hoping that that’ll even further combat some of the distractions that some of our young drivers are faced with,” said Waters. Fewer people died last year as a result of highway accidents involving drunken driving, bicycles, motorcycles, and vehicles crossing into an opposite-direction lane.The lowest number of highway accident fatalities recorded was in 2009.

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