Measures needed to reduce traffic accidents, fatalities: Official

Despite traffic safety improvements and a drop in the number of accidents overall, the amount of fatal road collisions remains high.

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, who is Chairman of the National Committee for Traffic Safety, revealed the information at an online conference on April 9.

Binh said traffic statistics from the first three months of the year did show a reduction in accidents, but this was mainly due to less vehicles on the road because of the Tet holiday and social distancing measures in a number of localities.

But he warned that despite the drop in accidents in general, many lives were still lost on the roads and overloading, plus traffic congestion, remained a concern.

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said one of the reasons roads were getting busier was because of the large amount of new vehicles being registered, which he estimated at around 500,000 each year.

With such an increase in cars, over the next five to seven years, the level of congestion will be very large if we do not have radical solutions right now, he said.

Vietnam recorded 3,206 traffic accidents in the first three months this year, killing 1,672 people and injuring 2,386 others. The number of accidents and injured people decreased by 263 and 183 respectively compared with the same period last year but the number of fatalities increased by 33, according to the National Committee for Traffic Safety.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyen Duy Ngoc proposed several measures to improve traffic safety and order.

Ngoc said that as Vietnam was on economic development mission, transport infrastructure improvements were crucial.

He suggested that provincial and municipal traffic safety committees must learn from experience what has been done well and what improvements were needed.

He added that although the country still has many accident black spots, improvements had been made to about 20 percent of them.

The Ministry of Public Security will direct traffic safety campaigns to educate motorists.

It will also strengthen coordination between police, prosecutors and the courts to ensure strict punishments for those who violate traffic laws.

“For illegal racing, we will assign provincial and municipal police and the court to open trials in public to create a strong deterrence,” said Ngoc.

Finally, the Ministry of Transport and traffic safety committees will be asked to review all recommendations and prioritise those that need to be done first.