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Traffic Accidents Claim more than 400 Lives over Holiday Weekend

September 6, 1988

CHICAGO (AP) _ Traffic accidents during the Labor Day weekend on the nation’s roads killed more than 400 people, which is slightly lower than the death toll a year ago.

By midnight Monday, state and local police in the 50 states had recorded 422 deaths since the holiday period began at 6 p.m. local time Friday.

″We’re making some progress,″ said Richard Tippie, director of traffic safety for the National Safety Council of Chicago. During the 1987 Labor Day weekend, authorities reported 453 traffic deaths nationwide.

Tippie attributed the lower figures to fewer travelers and greater safety awareness.

″People are cutting back and not taking as many trips as they used to take, and when they do, they buckle up or make sure not to drink and drive,″ he said.

California, the most populous state, had the highest number of traffic fatalities at 45, followed by Texas with 30 and Florida at 27.

Delaware, North Dakota, Rhode Island and South Dakota each reported no fatal accidents.

The council had estimated that 420 to 520 people could lose their lives in highway accidents during the holiday period.

Safety-council statisticians say 410 traffic deaths could be expected during a non-holiday, three-day weekend at this time of the year.

The highest toll for the Labor Day holiday was logged in 1968, when 688 people were killed.

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