Việt Nam aims to reduce the number of traffic accidents, deaths and injuries by 5-10 per cent, according to targets set by Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình.— VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam aims to reduce the number of traffic accidents, deaths and injuries by 5-10 per cent, according to targets set by Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình.
Traffic congestion in big cities like Hà Nội and HCM City and at key traffic routes across the country would also be dealt with, Bình said at a ceremony held on Friday morning to kick off the 2019 Traffic Safety Year with the theme ‘Traffic Safety for Passengers and Drivers’.
The target could be reached with the resolute implementation of comprehensive measures on traffic accident prevention and control and with the participation of the whole political system and society, he said.
However, he noted that this year is expected to see a further increase in the volume of vehicles as economic growth leads to higher demand, which will create more challenges for ensuring traffic safety.
He asked the National Committee for Traffic Safety (NCTS) and relevant ministries, agencies and People’s Committees of localities to continue taking measures to ensure traffic safety on roads, railways and domestic waterways as well as continue implementing Government Resolutions on solutions to traffic safety.
He added that travelling demand was predicted to increase and the traffic situation would pose problems as the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday approaches, urging ministries, agencies and localities to promptly take measures to effectively manage transport activities, ensure infrastructure and increase inspections and handling of violations of traffic regulations.
They were instructed to also pay attention to measures to reduce traffic jams in Hà Nội and HCM City and along key national highways during this holiday.
“It is crucial to increase information dissemination to raise public awareness of abiding by traffic regulations while strictly punishing violations, particularly drunk driving and driving without helmets which are considered the two major causes of traffic accidents during holidays and festivals,” Bình said.
In the latest incident, a container truck on Wednesday hit 21 motorbikes waiting at a red light at the Nhựt Chánh junction in Bến Lức District of Long An Province, killing three people on the spot and injuring 18 others. One more person died en route to the hospital. The truck driver later tested positive for drugs and alcohol.
Addressing the teleconference held by the NCTS in Hà Nội yesterday to review traffic safety in 2018 and launching tasks for 2019, Deputy PM Bình emphasised that in 2018, traffic accidents decreased in number of cases, fatalities and injured victims.
Traffic accidents claimed 8,248 lives, 33 fewer than in 2017, making the second year reduction since 2013.
According to the report made by the NCTS, in 2018, as many as 18,736 traffic accidents occurred nationwide, leaving 8,248 dead and 14,802 injured. The numbers represent a decrease of 1,348 cases (6.71 per cent); a decrease of 33 in fatalities (0.40 per cent) and 2,238 injuries in comparison with the previous year.
While applauding efforts made by ministries, agencies and localities over the past year, the deputy PM pointed out the need to solve outstanding issues to ensure traffic safety and order including the low awareness of road users and high number of traffic safety violations.
He said the number of vehicles continued to increase, leading to high density of traffic. The shortage of human resources, lack of determination in handling traffic-related violations and shortcomings in urban planning and management were also problems.
In related news, Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể has requested that agencies and units must work together to ensure smooth transportation.
Speaking at a meeting on reviewing works in 2018 of the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam (DRVN) on Thursday, he said the DRVN currently managed “huge” assets from national roads, highways to bridges, warning that without effective measures, it might cost between VNĐ5-10 trillion each year instead of only VNĐ1trillion for road maintenance.
Agencies might face criminal responsibility if roads were not repaired on time, resulting in traffic accidents, he said.
He cited an accident leaving one person dead on National Highway No. 1 through Phú Yên recently as an example.
The deceased victim’s family sent a petition to the local court, proposing criminal responsibility of the Thang Long Project Management Board. The reason was that the board neglected maintenance work which resulted in fatal accidents.
Thể asked competent agencies to be proactive in submitting reports to the government for timely capital allocation relating to road maintenance.
The DRVN and transport departments at localities were assigned to wipe out hotspots of road accidents in 2019, he said. — VNS