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Traffic accidents a focus for Tết holiday

Update: January, 19/2019 - 09:00
Police stop a motorbike driver near Hoàn Kiếm Lake in the capital city. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tuấn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — As the Tết (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) holiday approaches, Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hoà Bình has urged the National Traffic Safety Committee along with the ministries of transport and public security to exert all efforts to reduce traffic accidents during the festive period.

The deputy prime minister spoke at a conference on Thursday to discuss traffic safety solutions, following a number of recent collisions.

Khuất Việt Hùng, the committee’s deputy head, mentioned fatal accidents involving trucks and coaches in the first half of January.

“Besides poor driving, transport enterprises are also to blame for these incidents,” he said.

According to Hùng, many transport enterprises put huge pressure on drivers – forcing them to work long hours without being monitored and or conducting periodic checks on vehicles.

The punishments for those companies are not strict enough to stop them committing violations.  

A drug and alcohol testing campaign in some localities and accident black spots was suggested by Transport Minister Nguyễn Văn Thể, aiming to reduce traffic accidents, especially those involving large vehicles.

Last week, HCM City Traffic Police started to conduct drug tests on truck and coach drivers.

On the first two days of the campaign, January 12 and 13, five of 44 drivers tested positive for narcotics.

The Deputy PM instructed that the drivers have their licences revoked.

At the same time, investigations will be conducted into a number of transport companies and driving schools.

The Deputy PM also asked for management on the issuance of driving licences to be tightened and harsh punishments imposed on any schools which violate regulations.

Responding to the 24 fatal traffic accidents in late December, 2018 and the first half of January, 2019, Nguyễn Văn Huyện, head of the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam, said that poor driving was partly to blame.

“Some experienced drivers cause accidents by overestimating their ability or driving dangerously,” he said.

On Thursday, a driving school in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk was reported for deceiving trainees.

According to initial findings, staff said that the school was part of the MoT and promised to help all trainees pass their driving tests by paying between VNĐ6 and 10 million (US$260 to 430).

Up to 400 people had enrolled in the school by the beginning of 2019.

During Tết last year, from February 14 to 20, 2018, 168 people died in traffic accidents while another 37,200 were injured. The number rose sharply on the third and fourth days of the New Year.

Alcohol is the leading cause of traffic accidents during Tết. Besides traffic accidents, 810 people were hospitalised due to alcohol poisoning. — VNS

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