Iowa Department of Public Safety says the number of traffic deaths during the recent Thanksgiving weekend was a record. The preliminary reports show two people died in two accidents this past Thanksgiving — and that ties 2002 for the lowest number of traffic deaths since the state began keeping records in 1968. It was also a dramatic drop below the six people that died in accidents during the Thanksgiving weekend of 2003. The drop in traffic deaths followed an up and down trend where there were nine deaths in 1996, then three in ’97 and ’98 and then eight in 1999. The trend dropped down again to three in 2000, but shot back up to nine in 2001, before the record setting low of two in 2002 that was tied this year. Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Kevin Techau (Tek’-ow) says this year’s low number can be attributed to safe driving by Iowans, and the special enforcement programs carried out by local, county and state law officers.
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