JOPLIN, MO-- After a several years of dropping numbers, Missouri traffic deaths did an about turn last year. But that wasn't the case in the southwest part of the state. Newton and Jasper counties saw the biggest change with decreases of more than 60%. Lawrence and Barton counties saw smaller decreases... while McDonald County went from just one death in 2011 to five last year. Missouri Highway patrol Sgt. Mike Watson says it's tough to say what affected those numbers, but that cooperation among law enforcement is a good start.
Watson said, "And we do feel its a cooperative effort and like I said, it's not only a goal for the highway patrol, but a goal for law enforcement across Missouri and specifically here in this area."
2013 is a different story. Traffic deaths are down year to date - there had been 112 at this point in 2012 versus 78 this year.