By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The number of traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania increased by about two percent last year, but overall the traffic safety trend statewide continues to be good.

Penndot spokeswoman Erin Waters-Trasatt says there were 1,310 people killed in Pennsylvania traffic accidents last year, twenty-four more than in 2011, “but it’s still the third-lowest on record. If you look back about fifteen years, back to 1997, we had more than 1,500 fatalities. So while we saw a year-to-year increase, overall the trend is going down,” she says.

Waters-Trasatt says 2009 was the best year on record.

It seems that motorists may be getting the safety message, but stricter laws may be helping, too.  In December 2011, tougher requirements for teen drivers were implemented, and in 2012 the number of deaths involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers dropped by one third, from 66 to 44.

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