The number of speeding tickets written went up — but it looks like the state had its lowest number of Fourth of July highway deaths in four years. State Patrol spokesman Jim Saunders says there were two holiday weekend fatalities with one involving an A-T-V crash in a state park. That’s the lowest number of Fourth of July fatalities since 2001 when there were also two. There were four fatalities last year, ten in 2003 and four in 2002. It was the first holiday with the new 70-mile-an hour speed limit and Saunders says troopers wrote lots of speeding tickets and other violations. He says they issued two-thousand-204 speeding tickets, well over 500 citations for other moving violations, and arrested 48 intoxicated drivers from Friday until Monday at midnight. Saunders says troopers issued one-thousand 873 speeding tickets last year. But he says the increase in tickets wasn’t because the roadways were wild. He says the consensus he’s heard is that generally drivers did a good job of following the posted speed limits. Saunders says he hopes the awareness campaign that said troopers would concentrate on speeders paid off. And he says they’ll continue the effort. Saunders says the Patrol will continue working with radars, airplanes and in groups to make sure that if people speed, they’ll face a ticket and a fine. Statistics from the Patrol say the Fourth of July is traditionally the deadliest holiday for traffic deaths.
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