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UPDATED: 08:18, October 12, 2004
Rural people, self-employed laborers: top victims in China's traffic accidents
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Rural residents, migrant workers and urban self-employed laborers suffer most from traffic accidents in China, an official with the Chinese Ministry of Public Security said here Monday.

"The three groups made up 39.2 percent of the total death and 38.7 percent of the total injuries caused by traffic accidents in 2003," said Gu Zhuxiang, director of the department handling traffic accidents under the Ministry of Public Security at a launching ceremony of the Chinese version of World Report On Road Traffic Injury Prevention.

Ministry statistics show that traffic accident claimed 104,372 lives and injured 494,174 people across China in 2003, among which40,964 death and 191,231 injuries were from the three categories of people.

Gu acknowledged that the violation of road transportation rulesand lack of awareness of traffic safety may explain the high road fatality rate among the three categories of people.

Worldwide, an estimated 1.2 million people are killed in road crashes each year and as many as 50 million others are injured. "Projections indicate that these figures will increase by about 65 percent over the next two decades unless there is new commitment to prevention," said the World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention issued by the World Health Organization and the World Bank.

"The number of deaths and injuries from traffic tragedies in China led the world, and the number is increasing by 10 percent every year," Gu said.

The official said Chinese authorities are "deeply worried" by the situation. Many substantial measures have been implemented, including intensified education on road safety, heavy punishment to over-speeding and overloading and strict automobile inspection, Gu said.

"We hope our efforts will help relieve the serious situation inChina," he said.

Source: Xinhua

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