|A flyover stands out in HCM City's Binh Thanh District, a measure introduced to tackle traffic congestion. The country's enforcement of traffic laws needs improvement, a teleconference in the capital was told yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HA NOI (VNS)— As many as 12,052 traffic accidents were recorded nation-wide in the first five months of 2013, resulting in 4,163 deaths and leaving 12,171 injured.
The statistics was reported in a tele-conference organised yesterday in the capital by the National Traffic Safety Committee.
Speaking at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is also the committee chairman, said the number of accidents decreased by 14.77 per cent compared with the same period last year (2,089 accidents).
However, the number of deaths increased by 0.68 per cent (28 people).
"Traffic safety remains a headache for the public, including the authorities," Phuc said.
He asked the conference to seriously review the implementation of the traffic law, pinpoint the weaknesses in the law enforcement and come up with measures to ensure traffic safety for everyone.
He also called on local authorities to curb traffic accidents in their localities.
Phuc praised the Chairman of Khanh Hoa People's Committee (in central Viet Nam) for his self-criticism and promise to re-establish traffic order.
Participants also expressed their concern about taxi drivers cheating tourists in major cities, particularly Ha Noi and HCM City.
Phuc ordered local authorities to clamp down on the "bad guys" who undermine the nation's image.
He also gave the green light for heavy sanctions on coach drivers who overloaded their vehicles.
"The drivers must stop putting passengers and people on the road at risk," Phuc said.
At the conference, Deputy Minister of Public Security Pham Quy Ngo said up to 80 per cent of traffic violations were caused by people failing to follow traffic laws.
He said the root cause of the problem was the lax management in driving training and testing.
He cited the fact that most of the traumatic accidents lately were found to have been caused by speeding or driving down the wrong side of the road.
Ngo suggested handing out lifetime driving bans for those responsible for causing such serious accidents.
Responding to public concern about the disorder at coach stations and the overcharging of taxis in Ha Noi, director of the Ha Noi Transport Department Nguyen Quoc Hung said his office would strictly handle the problems and prohibit enterprises from increasing the number of their taxis.
Director of the Road and Railway Traffic Police Department said the transport ministry will send additional forces to provinces such as Ninh Thuan and Khanh Hoa in the southern central region, where a higher number of accidents have recently been reported.
Chairman of the Khanh Hoa People's Committee Nguyen Chien Thang admitted that the province saw an increase in the number of traffic accidents in the first three months this year, but said a downtrend was reported in April and May thanks to strong measures being enforced, such as increased inspections around the clock at hot spots and stricter punishments for violators.
Deputy PM Phuc hailed eight provinces for their good work in decreasing the number of accidents, but criticised nine others for having an increase of 30 per cent.
He requested that violators be named and shamed in mass media and asked localities to severely punish officials found to collude with violating transport enterprises, resulting in traffic problems.
Helmets were also discussed. Market watchers had detected 1,676 safety helmet shops that sold poor quality helmets; 53,836 helmets were seized and VND 813 million ($38,000) in fines were collected. — VNS