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Traffic deaths rise in 2012 after record low

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The State Highway Patrol said the number of people killed on Ohio roads rose in 2012 compared with the record low reported the previous year.

The patrol reported 1,056 confirmed traffic deaths in 962 fatal crashes during the last year. That’s up from 1,015 deaths in 2011, which was the lowest total since recordkeeping began in 1936.

There are also at least 45 unconfirmed cases, which include those that are under investigation and may not be ruled as traffic fatalities. That makes the potential total about 1,100 fatalities for the year.

A patrol spokeswoman said it’s too soon to tell why the number of fatalities rose. The increase occurred even as state troopers made thousands more stops involving drugs, impaired driving and no seat-belt use.