HA NOI (VNS)— Transport minister Dinh La Thang has asked for stricter control over the operation of coaches and heavy trucks to prevent traffic accidents.
The call was made at a meeting held on Tuesday following a series of serious traffic accidents which have caused a great deal of public concern.
An accident happened last Friday when a coach crashed into a cliff in the central province of Khanh Hoa, killing seven teachers and injuring 21 others.
Later on Sunday, nine people died and 30 were injured in two separate traffic accidents in central Quang Nam and southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces.
In the first accident in Quang Nam, a coach overturned and rolled down a 7m slope on National Highway 1A, killing three people and injuring 30.
In Ba Ria-Vung Tau, a truck and two motorbikes collided, killing six people, including two children.
Minister Thang instructed relevant agencies to look at the issuance of driving licences and transport activities, and punish those who violated traffic laws, including operating coaches older than 15 years old at night.
Thang asked the ministry's Legal Department to tighten transport business conditions.
He also instructed relevant agencies to study proposed regulations over the legal driving age and conditions needed for coaches and trucks to operate at night.
Inspections of transport businesses would be strengthened and violations would lead to licences being revoked, while driving training centres that broke the rules would be permanently shut down, he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc yesterday said it was essential to increase awareness of traffic safety to drivers, vehicle owners and transport businesses.
Speaking with the press on the issue on the sidelines of the National Assembly meeting, Phuc stressed the importance of reorganising traffic and installing cameras to identify violations.
Regulations were also necessary for the operation time of coach drivers and the responsibility of drivers and transport businesses, he said.
Chief of the Secretariat of the National Traffic Safety Committee Nguyen Trong Thai told Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper that the Committee had built a plan to tighten control over speed limits nationwide for two months, starting from July 1.
The committee would also check all road signs and increase management over the operation of coaches and trucks via CCTV, while carrying out regular inspections.
Thai said the initial investigation of the accident in Quang Nam Province last Friday found it was due to speeding while it was raining and the road was slippery.
A national workshop is scheduled for this month with the participation of representatives from traffic police and transport departments to seek measures to reduce traffic accidents and define the responsibilities of relevant ministries and agencies in case of an accident.
In the past six months, more than 15,460 traffic accidents were recorded, with 4,950 fatalities and 16,000 injuries, according to the Department of Road and Railway Traffic Police. — VNS