By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Pennsylvania motorists notched a milestone last year: the lowest number of fatalities since record-keeping began 85 years ago.

The 1,208 traffic deaths recorded in 2013 were 48 fewer than the previous record low year of 2009. PennDOT spokeswoman Ashlee Schoch says there were significant decreases in various categories of crashes, such as those that involved drinking drivers.

“Which decreased from 377 in 2012 to 342 last year,” she says. “That is the lowest number since 1997, when this type of data collection began.”

Schoch, who believes the numbers reflect PennDOT’s increased driver education efforts, also says the number of fatalities involving people who were unbuckled dropped by 78 last year compared to 2012.

Speeding deaths decreased by 69 year to year, and there were 82 fewer accidents involving single vehicles run off the road.

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