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​29 die in crashes on first day of New Year holiday in Vietnam

Sunday, December 31, 2017, 10:51 GMT+7

Twenty-nine people lost their lives in 34 traffic accidents occurring across the country on Saturday, the first day of the New Year holiday, the Vietnam National Traffic Safety Committee has reported.

Thirty-two others were also injured in the crashes.

Out-of-towners typically start to get home while an influx of residents hit the road for tourist destinations to celebrate the New Year holiday, which increases risks of road accidents.

The holiday lasts three days from Saturday.

Police across the country slapped fines totaling over VND4.5 billion (US$ 197,592) on 5,129 violators of traffic rules the same day.

A hotline launched by the Vietnam National Traffic Safety Committee received 30 calls and messages reporting gridlock on roads leading to coach, train stations and airports on Saturday.

Road accidents claimed more than 8,200 lives and injured over 17,000 others in 2017, a slight rise compared to last year, Vietnam Television cited the General Department of Statistics as saying.

However, Khuat Viet Hung, deputy chair of the Vietnam National Traffic Safety Committee, pointed out at a seminar in September that the total casualties calculated 30 days following the accidents as stipulated by international rules were considerably higher than the average number of 8,670 deaths recorded annually on the spot by police.

Statistics released by the Ministry of Health revealed approximately 15,386 accident victims perished in 2015, he added.

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