India has registered the highest number of road fatalities in the South-east Asian region, according to a new report by the World Health Organisation.

The country has witnessed nearly 73% of the total 288,768 road deaths in the region in 2007, two-thirds of which involved motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists.

The WHO estimated the toll to cost the country almost $12bn annually (Rs 550bn).

Overall, South-east Asia reports 33 road accidents every hour, according to the report based on the statistics provided by 11 countries in the region.

The report found that only three countries in the region have drink-driving laws, 30% have laws for mandatory seat belts and most of them lack any law requiring the use of child safety devices such as child seats and booster seats.