There was an alarming increase in the number of teen traffic fatalities last year, but New Jersey seemed to buck the trend.

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"The Governor's Highway Safety Association" showed two hundred forty 16 and 17-year-old drivers died in just the first half of 2012. That is an especially alarming number, considering that teen deaths had been on the decline for the preceding decade.

It is a different story on New Jersey highways in 2012, where preliminary data shows teen fatalities and all age fatalities were down.

State Division of Highway Traffic Safety head Gary Poedubicky says of the preliminary State Police stats showing teens deaths down, "It's nice to see a decrease, however, we're still seeing way too many teens being involved in crashes."

One thing the State of New Jersey continues to share with the rest of the nation is concern about cutting the high rate of teen drivers who continue to be distracted by a texting obsession.

Triple-A/Mid-Atlantic's Tracy Noble says it's great that teen deaths dropped here last year but, "There's always room for improvement, because any deaths are too many deaths."

Noble says parents and family need to continue to help educate teen drivers about responsible vehicle operation.