Manatee’s traffic fatalities drop significantly

MANATEE — Following a statewide trend, traffic fatalities in Manatee dropped by 32 percent from 2008 to 2009, according to a Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles report released this week.

In 2009, 37 people were killed in traffic fatalities in Manatee, down from 55 in 2008 and 58 in 2007, giving the county a reduction two years in a row.

Alcohol-related fatalities also fell in Manatee, from 25 in 2008 to 17 in 2009, according to the report.

Crashes in general that involved alcohol in Manatee also dropped from 445 in 2008 to 398 in 2009.

The significant drop in fatalities here more than doubles a reduction in fatalities statewide, which fell 14 percent, from 2,983 in 2008 to 2,563 in 2009.

Overall, however, crashes in Manatee went up from 3,777 in 2008 to 3,876 in 2009, the report stated.

Pedestrian fatalities also increased here from 2008 to 2009, nearly doubling from 7 to 13.