PIERRE - South Dakota officials say the number of traffic fatalities in the state were up in 2012, but below the average for the last 10 years.

State Department of Transportation figures show there were 134 people killed on the roads last year, up from 111 fatalities in 2011. The average for the last 10 years is 156 fatalities.

Lee Axdahl, the department's director of highway safety, tells the Capitol Journal the increase is unfortunate, but says the state is "trending down" on the number of deaths.

Axdahl believes that education efforts by the state to cut down on drunk driving and speeding have saved lives.

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