Drivers, start receiving compliments.
You have played an integral role in helping decrease traffic fatalities to their lowest level in more than 50 years.
Traffic deaths nationwide in 2009 plummeted 9.7 percent, to 33,808, the lowest number since 1950, according to the U.S. Transportation Department. In 2008, recorded traffic fatalities were 37,423.
Similarly, Missouri experienced 82 fewer traffic deaths, an 8.5 percent reduction, in 2009.
We concur with the prevailing wisdom attributing the decline to a combination of factors.
Despite this vast improvement, much remains to be done. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood invoked a highway metaphor when he said: "Although we have come a long way, we have a long distance yet to travel." Well said.