The number of traffic accidents involving taxis rose by 13.1 per cent last year, while crashes involving public light buses fell by a fifth, police said yesterday. Acting Chief Superintendent of police traffic headquarters Paul Croft attributed the rise in taxi accidents partly to economic woes. 'It could be that because of the economic downturn, drivers are working longer hours, are more tired, are losing their temper and this affects their driving. We are working on liaising more with the trade on this issue.' Bicycle accidents rose 20 per cent, with almost all crashes involving children under 16. Motorcycle accidents also increased, with the number of fatalities up from 13 in 2000 to 20 last year. Overall, figures were the second lowest on record, with 165 fatal traffic accidents resulting in 173 deaths. In total, there were 15,599 accidents involving 20,263 casualties, 4.3 per cent more than in 2000. Mr Croft commended public light bus drivers for a 19.5 per cent reduction in accidents after police liaised with the trade in August last year on driving safety.