January 04, 2017 11:55
The number of traffic deaths in Seoul has dropped below one a day for the first time since statistics began in 1970. Analysis of car accidents in 2016 shows that an average of 0.94 persons was killed in car accidents in the city, the Seoul Metropolitan Government said on Tuesday.
Some 343 people were killed last year, down 29 from 372 in 2015. The city said this was the result of joint efforts by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, the city government and district offices to reduce casualties among pedestrians by lowering speed limits on back roads and preventing jaywalking. Police have also vowed to patrol accident-prone areas more frequently and remove risk factors.
Seoul now ranks at the bottom in the country for auto fatalities with 3.4 deaths per 100,000 people, against a national average of a whopping 9.1. The peak in Seoul was 13 in 1989. But the figure is still high, compared to major cities in advanced countries like Berlin (1.4), London (1.5), and New York (2.9 as of 2013).
The percentage of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in Seoul is high at 57 percent, as against the national average of 38 percent, mainly due to population density and a lot of people working at night.
Another reason is that the legal speed limit in most parts of the city is 60 km/h, compared to 50 km/h in most cities in the OECD.
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