Mississippi officials dispute claim of deadliest roads

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi safety officials dispute a claim that the state has the nation’s deadliest roads, saying deaths have fallen since the data was compiled.

PropertyCasualty360.com, a website published by insurance magazine National Underwriter, listed Mississippi as having the most traffic deaths per capita nationwide, citing 2009 numbers.

But Highway Patrol officials tell The Clarion-Ledger that traffic deaths have fallen from 700 in 2009 to 630 last year.

Mississippi Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz also says the list doesn’t capture Mississippi’s focus on reducing traffic deaths.

After recording 931 fatalities in 2005, a group of agencies set a goal to cut the total by a quarter by 2011. That 25 percent reduction was achieved by 2009, and the group renewed the 25 percent goal, aiming to cut deaths to 525.

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