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Along with the sharp rise in the number of traffic accidents, the number of persons cleared for professional negligence in traffic accidents showed an upsurge in the last two years, surpassing the 800,000 mark and reaching 850,493 (up 11.2% from the previous year) in 2000. The number of cleared cases of hit-and-run also increased to 14,050.
The number of suspects prosecuted for professional negligence in traffic accidents reached 6,537 in the case of requests for formal trial and 86,643 in the case of requests for summary orders in 2000. The percentage of the number of formal trials in the total number of prosecutions was 7.0% in 2000.
By examining terms of imprisonment concerning judicial decision on professional negligence by ordinary first instance, the percentage of persons sentenced to imprisonment with or without labor for 2 years or more has been increasing each year. In addition, the percentage of persons sentenced to imprisonment for professional negligence resulting in death for more than 2 years without suspension of execution of sentence also increased yearly, from 37.8% in 1998 to 42.9% in 1999, and to 45.3% in 2000.