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Traffic deaths in Massachusetts on pace to surpass last year's total, the highest since 2009

Springfield Fire Dept
via Twitter
This crash at Dwight and Harrison Streets in Springfield on August 9, 2021 sent three people to the hospital with serious injuries according to the Springfield Fire Department

Less seat belt use, more speeding, drivers holding cell phones are trends seen by MassDOT

Traffic deaths in Massachusetts are mounting once again this year.

In 2021, the state recorded 413 roadway deaths – the most in 11 years and a 22 percent increase from 2020.

As of June 15th, there have been 172 traffic fatalities in the state so far this year, which is an increase over the same period a year ago, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Registrar of Motor Vehicles Colleen Ogilvie is part of an internal team at MassDOT that has been looking at the fatality trends. She spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.