Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has insisted that the number of people killed in traffic accidents each year be lowered nearly by half in the 2016-20 period.
The number of annual deaths caused by crashes is approximately 9,000 people, which is too high, Deputy PM Phuc, who is also chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, said at a conference in Hanoi on Tuesday.
Competent authorities have the responsibility to raise people’s awareness of traffic safety, and to reduce the number of people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the official underscored, adding that confrontation following minor collisions must be prevented as well.
There has been significant improvement in attempts to enhance traffic safety in Japan and Singapore, as children there are properly educated on traffic rules and regulations at an early age, the deputy premier said.
He proposed that modern technology be applied to traffic regulation as well as the procedures of penalizing violators.
Local authorities are required to take measures to ease congestion and lower the death toll to 5,000 people per annum in 2016-20, Deputy PM Phuc said.
Traffic jams are becoming increasingly serious since 600 cases in which stagnation lasted more than one hour were recorded in the first 11 months of 2015, most of which happened in Vietnam’s two biggest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, Tran Son Ha, chief of the traffic police department under the Ministry of Public Security, said at the conference.
Congestion is forecast to worsen in the future as infrastructure is not upgraded fast enough to keep up with the rapidly growing number of vehicles, especially after the ratification of several free trade agreements Vietnam has reached with other countries, Ha explained.
About four million automobiles and 40 million motorcycles are owned by Vietnamese across the country, he added.
A total of 158,125 road and waterway accidents occurred between 2010 and 2015, of which road crashes accounted for 98.3 percent, according to official figures released at the conference.
The number of people killed in the accidents in the period was 48,015, about 12,000 lower than the fatalities of the preceding five years.