Fri, Jan 12, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Fatal traffic accidents in Taipei dip to 20-year low

EDUCATION:The Taipei Department of Transportation mailed traffic safety pamphlets to the residences of those older than 75 and conducted forums targeting universities

By Huang Chien-hao and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Firefighters assist the injured at the site of a fatal traffic accident in Taipei’s Neihu District on Dec. 2 last year.

Photo: CNA

A total of 65 deaths occurred within 24 hours of a traffic accident last year in Taipei, the lowest rate in 20 years, the Taipei Department of Transportation said yesterday.

That was a nearly 27 percent decrease from the 89 deaths in 2016, the agency said, but added that small vehicles, with 29 deaths, still caused the greatest number of fatal accidents.

Only about 2 percent of the fatal accidents were caused by drunk driving, the agency said.

Of the 65 people that died, 30 were motorcycle riders or passengers, 28 were pedestrians, three were car drivers or passengers, three were cyclists and one was a truck driver or passenger, it said.

Last year, motorcyclist deaths were spread across three age groups: 18 to 25-year-olds (five people), 40 to 49-year-olds (seven people) and 50 to 59-year-olds (five people), the agency said.

In previous years, more than 70 percent of motorcyclist deaths were concentrated in the 18 to 25-year-old group, it added.

Pedestrian deaths were concentrated among those older than 65 (20 people), the agency said, adding that deaths in the car driver or passenger category and cyclist category did not show clear trends.

A total of 28,773 people were injured in the 37,690 traffic accidents that were recorded last year, the department said.

Last year, the department reviewed locations that easily led to accidents or deaths, but also mailed traffic safety pamphlets to the residences of those older than 75, the agency said when asked why the number of accidents had decreased.

The department said it also held forums targeting motorcyclists in the 18 to 25-year-old group at colleges and universities.

It also implemented an ad hoc law enforcement plan to strengthen the use of speed cameras and mobile speed controls for motorcycles at times and locations that motorcyclists were likely to cause accidents, it added.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications uses deaths within 30 days of traffic accidents, rather than deaths within 24 hours, as the standard for its statistics on fatalities and injuries caused by traffic accidents.

The numbers for the whole of last year are still being calculated, the department said, but added that from January to October, 118 deaths occurred within 30 days of a traffic accident, which is still a decrease compared with the 161 deaths in 2015.

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