BEIJING -- Traffic accidents killed 1,182 people in Beijing last year, 191 less than the previous year, the municipal government said on Thursday.
The figures represented the most drastic drop in road death totals in recent years for the capital city of the nation with the largest number of road deaths per 10,000 vehicles in the world. It is the fourth consecutive year that the death toll for the city has fallen, claimed the local government.
Officials said strict punishment for drunken drivers was the main contributor to the fall, citing the figure that 94 fewer drinking-triggered deaths were registered in 2007 as against 2006.
They also said a fall in the number of truck and passenger bus accidents had contributed to the falling total.
The city has reinforced measures against all kinds of road violations this year, sending 1,061 drunk drivers and another 3,751 without driving licenses to administrative custody and punishing more than 12,500 drivers found drinking alcohol.
China recorded 5.1 road accident deaths for every 10,000 motor vehicles last year, the highest in the world. The world average was two deaths per 10,000 vehicles, a source at a forum on traffic safety said earlier this month.
According to the Ministry of Public Security, since 1996 China has ranked first worldwide in terms of traffic deaths. Road accidents claimed 81,649 lives nationwide last year, 7,806 fewer than in 2006.