San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Violent Deaths Decrease, Roadway Deaths Up

Although the Costa Rican Red Cross saw fewer violent deaths in 2006 than the year before, an increase in the number of roadway deaths has the organization worried about the dangerous state of the nation’s roads, according to spokeswoman Noemi Coto.

During 2006, the Red Cross attended to 370 people who died in roadway accidents, including 164 killed in collisions, 63 killed in overturned cars and 143 who were hit by cars, up from the 332 roadway deaths that occurred during 2005, according to a statement from the organization.

“It worries us a lot that people are driving out of control and that they’re mixing driving with alcohol,”Coto said. “Despite prevention campaigns, these accidents are unfortunately becoming more violent every day.”

The Red Cross saw 912 violent deaths during 2006, slightly less than the 924 deaths registered during 2005, the statement said.

During the month of December, 82 violent deaths were recorded by the Red Cross, most of which were caused by traffic accidents (51%) and firearms (20.7%). The remaining deaths were the result of drownings, falls and unknown causes.

Last year, 287 deaths occurred in San José, while 133 occurred in Alajuela, northwest of San José; 68 occurred in Cartago, east of San José; 79 occurred in Heredia, north of San José; 105 occurred in the northwestern Guanacaste province; 109 occurred in the Pacific Puntarenas province and 131 occurred in the Caribbean province of Limón, the statement said.


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