Authorities say fewer people died on Missouri's roads and waterways last year.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says preliminary statistics count 753 traffic fatalities in 2014, compared with 757 fatalities in 2013 and 1,257 in 2005. Boating fatalities dropped to 15 last year from 17 in 2013.

Drowning deaths also were on the decline. Twenty-nine people drowned in the state's rivers and lakes last year, compared with 38 in 2013.

Patrol superintendent Col. Ron Replogle says he would like to see the trend of fewer deaths continue, and added that troopers are committed to making the state safer.

The patrol says the public can help prevent deaths by staying alert and obeying all boating and traffic laws.

Kurt Parsons