Yuba-Sutter traffic fatalities dropped significantly in the first half of 2007, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Between Jan. 1 and June 15, there have been four fatalities, down from eight last year and 16 in 2005.
Part of the decline has come from the drop in drunken driver and seatbelt-related fatalities. Only one death came as the result of an intoxicated driver and one came from someone not wearing a seatbelt.
Two years ago, there were six DUI-related fatalities. Seven people died who weren’t wearing seatbelts.
CHP Capt. Scott Silsbee attributed the drop-off to stepped-up enforcement of seatbelt, speeding and drinking laws.
In a statement, Silsbee said the reduction in fatalities is even more impressive because the CHP’s personnel resources have only increased 17 percent in the past 30 years, compared to the 48 percent jump in the Yuba-Sutter population.
Silsbee said the CHP should receive more officers in the next few years because Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger authorized more hiring.
State CHP numbers have been found to be underreported in various areas, but the Yuba-Sutter office said it was not affected after a closer inspection of its own data.