Louisiana officials have better news when it comes to the amount of highway deaths in our state.  This is the fourth consecutive year that the number of highway deaths has declined.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission says 676 people died in traffic crashes in 2011, a drop of 44 deaths from 2010.  The number is also close to one-third less than 2007.

Deaths among young adults also went down.  72 people ages 18-24 died in crashes, a drop of 19 from 2011 and down from 134 who died in 2007.

The Safety Commission's report showed that alcohol was a factor in 41 percent of the fatal crashes in 2011, down from 45 percent in 2007.

More citizens found to be impaired were arrested as there were 29,922 DWI arrests in 2011, up from 25,570 in 2007.

The Safety Commission says that increased seat belt usage is one of the reasons the number of fatalities went down.  Louisiana's seat belt compliance rate is 79 percent this year.