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600 traffic safety advocates convene in Duluth

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Minnesota public safety officials say the annual number of traffic deaths in the state has gone down 30 percent since 2003.

      And so far in 2009, that downward trend is continuing. There have been 337 traffic deaths so far this year, compared to 352 at this time in 2008.

      The issue of traffic deaths is being discussed this week in Duluth, as nearly 600 traffic safety advocates and law officers gather for the annual Toward Zero Deaths traffic safety conference.

      Since the Toward Zero Deaths initiative began, the number of deaths on Minnesota roads has steadily decreased. Authorities attribute the decline to many factors, including the 0.08 alcohol concentration law, the primary seat belt law, and the economy - which has led some motorists to drive slower to conserve fuel.