West Virginia's traffic fatality rate is the second highest in the nation, according to a report from TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based national transportation research organization which lobbies for highway improvements.

The report calls one-third of major roads in "poor or mediocre condition," but did not take into account the condition of secondary roads.

Carol Fulks, chairman of West Virginians for Better Transportation, said her organization applauds Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's creation of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways.

"WVBT looks forward to the completion of the commission's report and supports further efforts to safeguard our roads, bridges and highways, preserve jobs, ensure safe travel conditions and protect our greatest transportation system, which benefits all West Virginians," Fulks said.

TRIP's studies are sponsored by insurance companies, equipment manufacturers, distributors and suppliers as well as businesses involved in highway and transit engineering and construction, labor unions and organizations concerned with an efficient and safe surface transportation network, according to the organization's website.

The TRIP report states that 12 percent of West Virginia's "major roads" have pavements in poor condition, with 24 percent in mediocre condition.

The report also found 22 percent of the state's bridges to be "functionally obsolete" because they no longer meet current highway design standards.

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