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Estonian police and Border Guard Board leading public order officer Sirle Loigo shows Christmas cards to be sent to drivers with five or more driving offences recorded during the year, in Tallinn, Estonia December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Janis Laizans


TALLINN (Reuters) - Estonian police have sent 700 Christmas cards to the Baltic country's worst drivers, hoping that pictures of car crashes and road accident statistics will get repeat offenders to change their ways.

The cards are sent to drivers with five or more driving offences recorded during the year, mostly for speeding or driving under the influence.

"There have been so far more than 40 road deaths this year," reads the card, which does not carry a personal greeting.

It blames the deaths, and injuries to more than 1,300 people, on drivers ignoring traffic rules and urges recipients to do all they can to keep the roads safe. "Believe us, your family and friends wish the same," it adds.

The "black" Christmas cards, which police have sent since 2011, are among measures that have helped Estonia, with a population of 1.3 million, slash the number of road deaths from around 200 a year a decade ago. Drink-driving offences have also fallen, to 6,100 so far this year from 17,920 in 2007.

(Reporting by David Mardiste; Editing by Simon Johnson and Catherine Evans)

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