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Traffic Fatalities Rise; APD ups enforcement over holidays

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The number of traffic fatalities in Austin is on the rise along with the number of dangerous drivers. During the holidays, police report seeing more violations that can lead to accidents and deaths. So Austin Police are cracking down.

"In the coming weeks, Austinites will see a very noticeable increase in the presence of our uniformed members of the department." said Chief, Art Acevedo. He as he announced the launch of the 6th annual, 'Home for the Holidays' traffic campaign.

While it is an annual initiative, this year's campaign is expected to crack down even tougher on traffic violations. As of November 20th, 68 people have been killed on Austin streets this year. That's up 45% over the same time last year.

"This year because of the increase in fatalities we're going to be warning less and ticketing more. So heed my words, slow down, don't drink and drive, wear your seatbelt," said Acevedo.

It's not only wrecks between vehicles causing our roadways to become more dangerous. Nearly one-third of all traffic related fatalities are pedestrians.

"The two biggest factors were one intoxication on the part of the pedestrians and two the pedestrians failing to yield right of way to motor vehicles either mid-block or at cross walks," said Commander Pat South with APD's Highway Enforcement Unit.

The campaign runs through January 1, 2013.

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