DUSHANBE, January 11, Asia-Plus  -- In Tajikistan, the number of traffic accidents rose 18 percent in the year to December 21, 2007, reaching 1,773 cases, according to Tajik traffic police directorate.

Habibullo Munavvarov, a spokesman for the traffic police, said that 464 persons, including 118 minors, had been killed and 2,043 others, including 533 minors, had been injured in those 1,773 accidents.   

He added that numerous instances of violation of traffic regulations by young drivers aged 18 to 25 were recorded last year.

The traffic police intend to raise the public trnasport driving age to 21, the spokesman said.  The present qualification age for public transport drivers is 18.