BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Alabama highway deaths last year topped 1,200 for the first time since 1973.
The Alabama Department of Public Safety's preliminary reports show at least 1,208 people died in crashes in 2006, and they expect the official total to be about 1,240.
Public Safety analyst Bill Shanks says some cities and counties have yet to submit their numbers. Shanks says he hopes to have final data later this month.
The state record for highway deaths was 1,251 in 1971. In 1973, there were 1,235 fatalities.
Public Safety Director Colonel Chris Murphy says he hopes to put more troopers on the road, use new technology and reassign some troopers in an attempt to reduce fatalities on the roads.
Murphy says he's very concerned about the number of deaths attributed to speed, the high number of deaths on rural roads and the increase in motorcycle deaths, which rose 29 percent last year.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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