APPLETON, Wis. (AP) _ Wisconsin traffic officials say fatalities seem to be declining this year after a jump last year.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says 396 people had died in crashes as of Sept. 30. Post-Crescent Media reports ( ) that's 80 fewer than at the same time last year.

In all, 601 people died in fatal accidents last year.

David Pabst is the DOT's director of the bureau of transportation safety. He says the decrease in deaths reflects a sharp drop in motorcycle deaths.