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State hits 101 road deaths for the year

ST. PAUL -- The recent rash of traffic deaths -- unofficially 16 since Friday, April 23 -- has pushed Minnesota above the 100-death mark for the year, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS). To-date, preliminary reports indicate 101 deaths. This figure is ahead of last year's death count of 95. Prior to last Friday, the 2010 traffic fatality pace was below the 2009 figure (85 v. 90). In 2009, the state reached the 100-death milestone in early May.

The preliminary 2009 total fatality count is 421, with a final number expected early summer.

The 2010 death count includes six motorcyclists and three pedestrians.

DPS officials remind motorists to buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and never drive impaired. DPS notes this time of year is especially important for parents of teen drivers to understand and reinforce teen driving laws, and to stress safe driving behavior for prom and graduation events. Parents can learn more, click on "Teen Drivers."