Traffic accidents decrease in 4th quarter of 2008

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Traffic accidents decrease in 4th quarter of 2008In the fourth quarter of last year, the number of reported traffic accidents reached 3,497, a decrease of 530 cases or 13.2 per cent compared to the corresponding quarter in the preceding year.

Decreases in traffic accidents were recorded in all districts. The highest decrease in accidents was registered in the Northern Harbour district, down by 224 cases or 13.5 per cent, Gozo and Comino was down by 39 cases or 20.9 per cent. On an annual basis, road traffic accidents totalled 15,007, implying a decrease of 1,131 cases over 2007. Overall, the Northern Harbour district registered most traffic accidents, 5,957 or 39.7 per cent of the total cases for 2008.

In the fourth quarter, 268 traffic casualties were reported. Of these, 150 drivers sustained injuries: 115 suffered slight injuries and 35 suffered grievous ones. In the same period, 64 passengers and 29 pedestrians suffered slight injuries, while 10 passengers and 12 pedestrians suffered grievous ones. There were three fatalities, two drivers and one passenger.

On a gender basis, casualties in the fourth quarter comprised 146 males and 122 females. Grievously-injured persons totalled 57, the majority being males. The three fatalities in this quarter comprised two males and one female. Most male and female casualties occurred in the 15-24 age group.

On an annual basis, 1,172 traffic casualties were reported in 2008, implying a decrease of 3.1 per cent over 2007. There were 15 traffic fatalities in 2008, an increase of one case over the previous year. Of these, 11 were males and four were females. Most male and female casualties occurred in the 25-39 age group.

80.6 per cent of casualties in the fourth quarter were caused by passenger cars while 11.9 per cent were caused by motorcycles. These two statistics for the whole of 2008 were 77.8 and 12.2 per cent respectively. Nearly 45 per cent of all traffic accidents occurred on weekend days in respect of both periods. Birkirkara was the locality with the highest road accident rate for both periods, tailed by Qormi and Marsa

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