More people were killed in Wisconsin traffic crashes this past July than in the same month a year ago.

Last month, 81 people died on the roadways, that's two more than the same time period last year. And for the entire year so far, though July, there have been a total of 422 traffic fatalities. That number includes 66 motorcyclists, four bicyclists, and 34* pedestrians.

"What we see year in and year out are the big culprits are alcohol — a little over a third of our fatalities are alcohol-related, and almost as many are speed-related."

Dennis Hughes with the Wisconsin State Patrol Bureau of Transportation Safety, says changes in behavior like wearing one's safety belt, paying attention while driving, slowing down and sobering up, could prevent a lot of deaths. Hughes says pedestrians are particularly vulnerable, and fatalities involve everyone from kids to senior citizens and everyone inbetween.

Hughes says pedestrian fatalities are up by about 40-percent from last year, with 35 deaths this year so far compared to 25 last year at this time. He says there's still plenty of summer left, with a lot of driving to do, so motorists should expect the unexpected.

*NOTE: The release says 34 pedestrians. That's through July, but a 35th pedestrian has perished just a couple days ago.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:36 MP3)

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