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ROAD SAFETY/Traffic deaths drop year-on-year in first nine months of 2023: MOTC

11/29/2023 08:43 PM
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A car is flipped upside down after falling off a road in an incident that killed the passenger and injured the driver in Nantou County on Nov. 14, 2023. File photo courtesy of a private contributor
A car is flipped upside down after falling off a road in an incident that killed the passenger and injured the driver in Nantou County on Nov. 14, 2023. File photo courtesy of a private contributor

Taipei, Nov. 29 (CNA) The cumulative number of traffic-related deaths in 2023 declined year-on-year for the first time in September amid efforts to improve pedestrian safety, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said Wednesday.

According to MOTC data, there were 2,224 traffic deaths in Taiwan during the first nine months of 2023, down 1.9 percent from the same period in 2022, when 2,266 deaths were logged.

In September 2023, the country reported 31,603 traffic accidents, which left 233 people killed and 41,942 injured, ministry data showed.

In that month, fewer motorcyclists, senior citizens and pedestrians were killed, and the number of people dying from drink-driving-related cases also reduced, MOTC officials said.

However, Nantou County had the worst traffic safety performance of all administrative areas, reporting 35 more deaths than a year ago in the first nine months of this year.

The central Taiwan county was followed by Taitung County (+18 deaths), Yunlin County and Miaoli County (+15 deaths each), and Taipei (+11 deaths), data showed.

Ensuring that motorists yield to pedestrians will continue to be the ministry's top priority, transport officials said.

Taiwan's government has come under increased pressure this year to improve traffic safety, particularly for pedestrians, in the wake of several high-profile fatal accidents, large-scale protests and negative international media coverage.

In response, the Cabinet introduced a number of measures, including implementing an "action plan" in May that allocated NT$24.5 billion (US$780 million) from 2023-2025, to improve "road quality," and increasing the maximum fine for motorists caught failing to yield to pedestrians from NT$3,600 to NT$6,000 in June.

(By Yu Hsiao-han and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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