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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that while total on-road deaths are increasing, truck-related fatalities are dropping.

The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles was 1.6, up from the record low of 1.5 in 1999. The total number of people killed in highway crashes was up from 41,611 in 1999 to 41,800 in 2000.

While overall fatalities were up, fatalities involving large truck crashes dropped from 5,362 in 1999 to 5,307 in 2000.

“These statistics underscore the challenges facing this country in highway safety,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. “Safety is an individual as well as government responsibility, and we must work together to improve it.”

The final 2000 report, pending completion of data collection and quality control verification, will be available in July. Summaries of the preliminary report are available on the NHTSA website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

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