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A record 1,183,120 people were injured in traffic accidents nationwide in 2004, virtually unchanged from 2003.

The National Police Agency said Thursday that the figure, up 0.1 percent from the previous year, has been above 1 million for six consecutive years.

There were also a record 952,191 traffic accidents last year, up 0.4 percent from a year earlier, the NPA said.

Fatalities numbered 7,358, falling below 7,500 for the first time in 48 years. The NPA attributed the decline to fewer cases of drunk driving, following the enforcement of a tougher drunk driving law, and greater use of seat belts.

It said the record number of traffic accidents and injuries was due higher traffic volume.

Some 930 people in their 20s killed were in traffic accidents last year, down 11.7 percent from a year earlier, compared with 3,046 people aged 65 or older, down 2 percent. The 65 or older age group represented a record 41.4 percent of traffic deaths.

Police received 87,448 complaints regarding “bosozoku” motorcycle gangs in the year, down 17.6 percent from 2003 and below 100,000 for the first time in 15 years.

The NPA attributed the drop in bosozoku-related complaints for the full year to the tightened Road Traffic Law that took effect two months ago.

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