• Jiji


Last year 114 people died in accidents on the nation’s expressways, the number falling by 49 from the previous year to its lowest since records began in 1979, a National Police Agency report showed Thursday.

The result apparently reflected the decrease in road traffic as people refrained from going out amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the NPA, traffic on expressways from April to June 2020, when a state of emergency was in place across the country due to the pandemic, was down around 30% from a year earlier, with the number of accident fatalities plunging year-on-year to one in May and five in June.

The annual number of traffic accidents on roads including expressways declined 18.9% to 309,178, posting the sharpest fall on record, or since 1966.

In 2020, a total of 2,839 people were killed in traffic accidents, while 27,774 were injured. People age 65 or over accounted for more than half of the fatalities. The number of children at elementary school age or younger who were killed or injured came to 861.

There were 6,829 people involved in bicycle-related accidents. The accident fatality rate for bicycle riders without helmets was about three times that for those wearing helmets.

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