September 6, 1943

Labor Day Holiday Deaths Only 43

WASHINGTON, D.C.—On this Labor Day, traffic fatalities have been extremely low for the holiday weekend. As of last night, only 43 traffic deaths are reported nationwide since 6 p.m. Friday. It is unlikely by the end of the holiday tonight that last year’s total of approximately 350 will be matched. The total in 1941 was 614 and in 1940 was 514. The dramatic reduction in traffic fatalities is attributed to gasoline rationing and the ban on pleasure travel by the Office of Price Administration (OPA). The OPA ban on pleasure driving—technically, “non-essential driving”—went into effect on May 20 of this year for the seventeen East Coast states. This ban followed an earlier ban that went into effect on January 7 of this year, but was made voluntary in March due to public outcry. Nationwide gasoline rationing went into effect December last.

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