The number of people killed on the roads in the first half of the year is lower than it has been for the past 10 years, but pedestrians are taking less care, figures published yesterday show. There were 68 fatal traffic accidents involving 73 deaths - nearly half of them pedestrians - during the period. Josephine Lau Wai-mun, chief inspector of the police road safety unit at Traffic Branch headquarters, said the number of fatal traffic accidents fell by 26 per cent compared with 92 cases in the corresponding period last year. 'The figure of 73 fatalities also showed a significant decrease of 28 per cent compared with the figure for the corresponding period in 1999. There have been 9,210 casualties involved in traffic accidents in the first half of this year, of which 2,351 were pedestrians.' She said the elderly were the most vulnerable to traffic accidents, with 20 out of the 37 pedestrians who died falling into this category. In the first half of the year, 2,979 out of 7,102 traffic accidents occurred at or near pedestrian crossings. In the same period, 17,000 pedestrians were summonsed for crossing the road without heeding traffic lights and not using pedestrian facilities. Nearly 50,000 pedestrians received verbal warnings. As a result police have launched a pedestrian road safety campaign.