Can road fatalities be eliminated? New plan seeks to prove 'yes' by 2046

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. An alarming spike in the number of highway fatalities has led to an ambitious plan to completely reverse the trend.

Since the recession ended, traffic fatalities have been going up, both nationwide and in Missouri. Investigators say more people have money to take road trips. Other drivers are taking advantage of the lower fuel prices to travel more.

The Federal Highway Administration says more cars on the road may be increasing the chances for crashes. Nationwide, fatalities are up more than 10% across America so far this year alone. In Missouri, they're up 8%.

The U.S .Transportation Department is rolling our an ambitions 30-year campaign to reduce highway fatalities to zero. The department says reaching 'zero' deaths per year can happen with advancements in technology like self-driving cars. The agency is giving out $3-million worth of grants to organizations or companies working toward that goal.