MONTPELIER, Vt. – Fifty days into a Vermont State Police effort to get drivers to slow down, it’s unclear whether the program is having much effect.

Figures from the state police show that since they launched Operation HEAT on July 4, the state had 11 traffic fatalities as of Thursday.

That’s one about every 4 1/2 days, on average, which would work out to an annual pace of about 80 in a year.

Last year, there were 55 traffic fatalities on Vermont roads, the lowest number since 1944. There were 74 in 2009 and 71 in 2010, for a three-year average of about 66.

Lt. John Flannigan, the state police traffic safety commander, said fatalities have been below the three-year average so far for August.