|The accidents left 132 people dead and 206 injured, up from by 119 and 150 last year, respectively. — Photo nguoiduatin
HA NOI (VNS) — The number of traffic accidents in some central provinces have increased since the project of upgrading and widening the Highway 1 was conducted, provincial traffic safety committees have said.
More than 200 traffic accidents were reported in the central province of Quang Nam from the beginning of this year to the middle of last month, an increase by 56 cases compared with the same period last year, said the province's traffic safety committee.
The accidents left 132 people dead and 206 injured, up from by 119 and 150 last year, respectively.
Truong Khue, chief of the committee's secretariat, told the Nguoi Lao Dong (Labourer) newspaper that the increase was partially caused by the project to upgrade Highway 1.
In Quang Ngai Province, the most serious accident this year occurred on Monday at a section of the highway passing through Pho Cuong Commune in Duc Pho District. Two coaches collided, leaving 23 people injured. Two deep holes that had been dug on both sides of the highway were located at the site of crash, while the remaining road was described by experts as being too narrow for two automobiles to pass by one another.
The number of patients hospitalised at the Phu Yen Province General Hospital also increased sharply, particularly at night time. On average, between two to eight patients were being hospitalised per night.
Resident Ho Thi Thanh, 33, who lives in Tuy Hoa City's An Phu Commune, was hospitalised at the beginning of this week unconscious due to brain trauma. Her mother said the road-bed at the highway's construction site was too narrow, and said she was hit by two automobiles while they were trying to pass each other.
An observation by a Nguoi Lao Dong (Labourer) newspaper reporter showed that along the Highway 1 passing Quang Ngai Province and the Quang Nam Province's Thang Binh, Phu Ninh and Nui Thanh districts, hundreds of machines were digging up lots of dust and reducing drivers' line of vision.
Soil was also lining the highway and holes had been dug on both sides, with few warning signs installed to warn drivers.
Nguyen Thanh Tri, director of the Phu Yen Department of Transport, said that enterprises carrying out the construction work needed to adhere to the Ministry of Transport's regulations, which stipulates road works must be conducted from one side at a time.
Abiding by the regulation would help reduce the number of accidents, he said.
Nguyen Phi Luong, deputy head of the Transport Police Division under the Phu Yen Province Police, said that most accidents happened at night when coaches and lorries would use their high-beam headlights.
Motorbike drivers would be blinded by the lights and fall into holes, he said.
The lack of signage indicating road works to motorcycle riders was also said to be linked to the accidents, particularly collisions with oncoming traffic. — VNS