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Drunk driving pushes Okinawa to traffic fatalities lead position

Date Posted: 2009-07-16

Only halfway through 2009, Okinawa’s number of traffic fatalities total 24, a higher number than even a year ago.

The 23 accidents and 24 deaths was an increase of seven, Okinawa Prefecture Police say, calling drunk driving the principal cause. Traffic fatalities are up 53.3% over the same period of 2008, making Okinawa the undisputed leader in the traffic fatalities category.

Further compounding the statistics, two-wheel vehicle accidents have increased 66.7% over a year ago, continuing the worst case scenario for Okinawa that spans 15 years. A total of 23 fatal accidents involved two-wheel vehicles, a 30.4% increase. Police say “because fuel costs went up, people try to use two-wheel vehicles, and traffic rules have to keep in action.” Police say senior citizen drivers are accounting for larger percentages of fatal accidents.


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