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Traffic deaths fall below 4,000 in 2016

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The number of traffic deaths in Japan fell below 4,000 last year for the first time in 67 years, National Police Agency data showed Wednesday.

The number dropped by 213, or 5.2 percent, from the previous year to 3,904. The figure was last below 4,000 in 1949, when a post-World War II record low of 3,790 was marked.

The 2016 number marked the third lowest after 3,848 in 1948, when the current statistics format was introduced.

The decrease “reflected improved vehicle safety functions and medical care as well as the promotion of comprehensive traffic safety measures, including driver education and road improvement,” an NPA official said.

Of the total traffic deaths, 2,138 were of elderly people aged 65 or over, down 109, or 4.9 percent. The elderly deaths accounted for 54.8 percent of the total, hitting a record high since the agency started taking comparable data in 1967.Speech

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