According to European Commission statistics released on Friday the number of road traffic deaths fell by one fifth in the Czech Republic in the past five years. In 2001, traffic accidents claimed 1,334 lives compared to 1,063 last year. Police attribute the drop in the number of road deaths in large measure to new legislation introduced in 2006. At the same time, the statistics show that too many Czech drivers and passengers do not take the mandatory use of seat belts seriously enough: 72 percent of passengers in front use them regularly, while only 41 percent use them in back. The Czech Republic fares better regarding drink driving, with a fairly low five percent of deaths that are alcohol-related. The Czech Republic also has a lower number of deaths among youths behind the wheel between the ages of 18 and 25.
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