Number of fatal wrecks down

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Better vehicle safety, increased campaigns against drunk driving and the continued push to wear seatbelts are the reasons behind a 25 percent drop in traffic fatalities in Alabama since in the last five years.

The National Highway Safety Administration announced the new figure, and representatives with Alabama's AAA believe drivers are taking greater responsibility when it comes to safety.

"People are more aware of drinking and driving. They are becoming more aware of distracted driving, texting while driving or eating while driving. Anything that distracts what we see out there," AAA representative Clay Ingram said.

However, with states looking at funding cuts, there are concerns that state troopers and safety education programs could be lost.

"We are always concerned about that," Ingram said. "Anytime there are cutbacks in companies, people look at a lot of different things and sometimes those things are not viewed as a necessity."

This week the Alabama House of Representatives passed an anti-texting while driving bill, and one lawmaker, Rep. Johnny Mack Brown of Red Bay has a bill to prevent ticketing for not using seatbelts unless drivers are pulled over for another reason.

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