We’re halfway thru the year, and unfortunately there has been an increase in the number of traffic fatalities across the State of Missouri compared to this time last year. The Highway Patrol Reports things started off well with no fatalities on new year’s day. however, the unfortunate trend that started in January and February with multiple fatality crashes has led to 344 deaths on State Highways. at one point, highway fatalities were running about 20 percent ahead of last year’s numbers. the highway patrol is urging motorists to wear seat belts and drive safely to help turn the trend around.