Iowa Traffic Deaths Rising In 2012

Associated Press

A truck makes its way down a snow covered Interstate I-35/I-80, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, in Des Moines, Iowa. The first widespread snowstorm of the season began a slow crawl across the Midwest on Thursday with some areas receiving as much as 15 inches of snow. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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By Richard Pratt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The 2012 Iowa traffic death toll likely will finish higher than the 2011 total of 360.

The Des Moines Register reports that the state had 357 traffic deaths through Monday, which is 14 more than the total by Christmas Eve in 2011.

State records say motorcycle accidents have killed 56 people so far this year, compared with 34 in all of 2011. Officials say the relatively warm, dry weather this year prompted motorcyclists to dust off their bikes in early spring and still be using them later in the year.

For example, seven motorcyclists died in March and five were killed in November this year in Iowa, compared with two in March 2011 and none in November 2011.

The state's record for traffic deaths is 912, set in 1970.

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