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Trucking-related fatalities drop

Cars and trucks collided less often in Minnesota during the past year, resulting in a 17.8 percent drop in trucking-related fatalities.

According to statistics reported in the latest edition of Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts, published by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the number of truck-related fatalities dropped from 90 in 2007 to 74 in 2008.

The number of persons injured in truck-related crashes also went down, dropping 18.3 percent during the same period.

There were 287 fewer truck-related crashes in 2008 vs. 2007, representing a reduction of 6.2 percent.

The Minnesota Trucking Association (MTA) has advanced a number of safety initiatives in recent years, including mandatory classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction regarding how to share the road with big trucks that was passed by the 2008 Minnesota Legislature.

The MTA has been a key partner in the state's Towards Zero Deaths initiative and actively lobbied to pass the state's new primary seatbelt law. The organization has also called for a national maximum 65 mile per hour speed limit for all vehicles.