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June 23, 2017

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Gov't sets ambitious goal of decreasing road deaths

TAIPEI--The Ministry of Transportation and Communications announced an initiative Thursday to reduce the number of road traffic casualties by raising risk awareness among drivers.

The program was unveiled along with figures showing that the number of individuals dying on the country's roads dropped to 1,928 in 2013 from 3,140 in 2006, according to ministry data.

The initiative is aimed at pushing the death rate from road accidents down by 3-5 percent each year from this year, according to the ministry, which is hoping the number of deaths can be brought below 1,500 per year by 2020.

Taiwan, a country of around 23 million citizens, had more than 20 million cars and scooters in 2013.

Despite the gradual decline in road traffic deaths, however, the ministry noted a gradual rise in injuries from road accidents, attributing over 90 percent of the accidents to insufficient caution and lack of concern for other road users.

The number of individuals injured in road accidents surpassed 300,000 each year between 2011 and 2013.

The ministry said it will work with local agencies and businesses to increase awareness of risk among drivers and encourage drivers to yield to pedestrians, with the goal of achieving a slowing in the growth in road injury numbers by 2016.

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