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Antwan Harris / Eyewitness News
Email: aharris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @antwanharris

NEW ORLEANS Millions of drivers take the roads daily, all running the risk of being the next deadly crash.

The latest numbers show that Louisiana had over 700 road deaths in 2012, but a new nationwide initiative is looking lower those numbers.

The 'Drive to Save Lives' campaign brought together top-level state police officers to find new ways to reduce traffic fatalities.

'We all share similar challenges and coming together and sharing different ideas helps us all do our jobs better,' said Tom Sands, director of the Michigan State Police.

Highway fatalities account for more than 33,000 deaths in the United States per year. In Louisiana, it is the number killer of teenagers.

'They had a family,' said Col. Michael Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police. 'They had a vision for the future and that vision did not include dying in an automobile crash.'

The goal is to reduce the number of people killed in crashes by 15 percent this year, roughly 5,000 saved lives.

Now Washington is joining in the effort.

'We will do everything we can together to make sure you meet that goal and possibly exceed it,' U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox said.

Some say it will take more than issuing fines to get the message across.

Joseph D'Amico believes education is also part of the solution.

'We could write tickets forever and it will never change people's behavior,' said D'Amico, Superintendent of the N.Y. State Police. 'We have to make people realize what they are doing is dangerous.'

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