Tokyo, 4th January, 2016 (WAM) — The number of deaths caused by traffic accidents in Japan in 2015 rose by four, or 0.1 pct, from the previous year to 4,117, up for the first time in 15 years, police data showed Monday.

The number of fatal victims aged 65 or older increased by 54 to 2,247 on a preliminary basis, according to the National Policy Agency. They accounted for 54.6 pct of the total, marking the highest proportion since related statistics became available in 1967.

The data mean that the government failed to achieve its target of reducing the annual traffic death toll to 3,000 or less by 2015, which was set under its ninth basic plan for traffic safety, covering from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2015, Jiji Press reported .

“We need to make a drastic review of our measures, as the annual total (of traffic deaths) surpassed the target by more than 1,000 people,” Taro Kono, chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, told a press conference.

An NPA official attributed the rise in the death toll to an increased population of elderly people, who have a high mortality rate in the event of an accident.