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Surge in traffic fatalities concerns police officials

WICHITA — Concerned by a surge in traffic fatalities in Wichita so far this year, police officials today urged drivers to be more alert and cautious.

Thirteen people had died in 12 accidents through the end of April — up significantly over the same period last year, Deputy Chief Nelson Mosley said. Seven of the 13 people killed were in alcohol-related collisions.

"We all need to be reminded that driving in a courteous, safe manner is our best defense" against being in a fatal collision, Mosley said.

An analysis of the deadly crashes so far this year showed contributing factors included a failure to yield right of way, excessive speed, inattentive driving, running a red light or driving while impaired, Mosley said.

Special traffic enforcement efforts already have been held this year on Kellogg and Broadway, he said, and motorists can expect more as the year goes on.

There were 28 traffic fatalities in 2010 — 21 of which involved alcohol.

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