Fewer people died on Utah highways during 1990 than in each of the previous 10 years, according to statistics gathered by the Utah Highway Safety Office.

But state officials say they haven't had time to analyze the numbers and pinpoint the reason for the 10-year low."It's hard to say exactly why. It may be enforcement; it may be public information campaigns. Hopefully it's because people are driving more safely," said John Dane, a safety office supervisor.

For the year, 233 accidents claimed 270 lives. That compares with the previous low of 283 killed in 253 accidents in 1983 and the 10-year high of 364 fatalities from 321 accidents in 1981.

"It was a good year, and it would have been a lot better if we didn't have that bus accident," Dane said, referring to a collision between a commercial bus and two semitrailer trucks last month on I-80, near the Wyoming border. The accident, one of Utah's worst, accounted for seven of the 21 traffic deaths in December.