The number of traffic incidents involving U.S. military vehicles has dropped sharply since two schoolgirls died in 2002, according to 2nd Infantry Division figures.

The 2nd ID recorded 292 military vehicle accidents, ranging from minor to serious, during fiscal 2002. That number has dropped each year since.

So far in fiscal 2007, which ends Sept. 30, the division has logged 40 accidents.

Although several 2nd ID camps have closed in the past five years, division officials attribute the drop largely to an increased safety focus since the schoolgirls’ deaths in 2002.

All new soldiers get briefed on the accident upon arrival to South Korea, officials said. All first sergeants, commanders, executive officers and operations section chiefs get an additional briefing, said Lt. Col. Todd Goehler, 2nd ID civil-military operations officer.

The division also inspected vehicles, added safety mirrors and developed new planning and operating procedures, officials said.

In 2004, Gyeonggi Province widened the road by about three feet and made the curve less severe where the two girls were killed. The national government spent about $1 million acquiring the property for those projects.

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