Japan Traffic Deaths Hit Record Low in 2017 (News)
Tokyo, Jan. 4 (Jiji Press)—The number of deaths caused by traffic accidents in Japan in 2017 fell 210, or 5.4%, from the previous year to 3,694, the lowest level since comparable data became available in 1948, a National Police Agency survey revealed Thursday.
The previous record low was 3,790, marked in 1949. Japan's traffic death toll topped 10,000 in 1959 and kept rising amid rapid motorization until it peaked out at 16,765 in 1970.
The 2017 decline seems to be caused by the implementation in March of the revised road traffic law with strengthened measures to prevent accidents caused by elderly drivers with dementia, observers said.
An NPA official said the achievement of the record-low figure resulted from a series of law amendments in the past and comprehensive efforts by the police, including enhanced road safety education and crackdowns on traffic law violators.
According to the preliminary results of the survey, the number of elderly victims aged 65 or older, including pedestrians, decreased 118, or 5.5%, to 2,020, although its proportion to the total death toll still stood high at 54.7%.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]