The state Department of Transportation says there was a six percent increase in traffic-related deaths in Wisconsin last year, compared to 2011. Overall, 601 people were killed on state highways in 2012, about 36 more than the previous year and two more than the average for the past five years.
Major Sandra Huxtable with the State Patrol says motorcycle deaths rose by 34 percent last year, with 114 bikers killed throughout the state.
Deaths by car-and-truck passengers also jumped 37 percent, which Huxtable says was the result of fewer people wearing seat belts when they were involved in a crash. Only about 80 percent of Wisconsin motorist buckle up, which is less than the national average of 86 percent.