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Fewer than 400 traffic deaths for second year running


Fewer than 400 traffic deaths for second year running
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According to preliminary traffic statistics for 2004, the number of fatalities in Finnish traffic accidents remained below 400 for a second year running.
      A total of 365 people were reported killed in accidents last year, although the figures could rise when more detailed information is processed.
      In 2003, traffic deaths numbered 379.
     
The darkest event on Finnish highways last year was the collision of a bus and a truck carrying paper rolls in Konginkangas on March 19th, in which 23 people lost their lives.
      "Without Konginkangas, the number of victims would have been far below last year's figures, and a clear improvement took place compared with previous years in the number of deaths among pedestrians and cyclists", says Matti Järvinen, head of the traffic safety authority Liikenneturva.
     
Last year saw a considerable improvement in safety for cyclists. The average number of cyclists' deaths in traffic accidents in the previous three years was 46. Last year it was just 25.
      "With respect to traffic fatalities for young people, it is unfortunate that after 2003, which was a good year, we went back to the previous figures."
      Järvinen says that the data from 2004 shows once again that the most destructive types of accidents are head-on collisions of cars, and driving off the road. Those accident types account for more than two thirds of all traffic fatalities.
      The most hazardous months for driving, especially with respect to serious accidents involving young people, are the spring months. On the other hand, August, November, and December were clearly safer than other times of the year.
      "All in all, last year's figures show that in traffic safety we must focus on safety of the main highways, reducing head-on collisions, fighting drink driving, and better enforcement", Järvinen says.
      He also says that in the new year, traffic safety efforts need to focus on improving attitudes of young drivers, and increasing the use of security equipment.


Helsingin Sanomat


  5.1.2005 - TODAY
 Fewer than 400 traffic deaths for second year running

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