|Standing Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of the National Committee for Traffic Safety Trương Hòa Bình addresses the conference. — VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Kiên|
HÀ NỘI — Despite traffic safety improvements and a drop in the number of accidents overall, the amount fatal road collisions remains high.
That was the message delivered by Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of the National Committee for Traffic Safety Trương Hòa Bình during an online conference on Friday.
The Deputy PM said traffic statistics from the first three months of the year did show a reduction in accidents, but this was mainly due to less vehicles on the road because of the Tết holiday and social distancing measures in a number of localities.
But he warned that despite the drop in accidents in general, many lives were still lost on the roads and overloading, plus traffic congestion, remained a concern.
Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể said one of the reasons roads were getting busier was because of the large amount of new vehicles being registered, which he estimated at around 500,000 each year.
"With such an increase in cars, over the next five to seven years, the level of congestion will be very large if we do not have radical solutions right now", he said.
Việt Nam had 3,206 traffic accidents in the first three months this year, killing 1,672 people and injuring 2,386 others. The number of accidents and injured people decreased by 263 and 183 respectively compared with the same period last year but the number of fatalities increased by 33, according to the National Committee for Traffic Safety.
Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyễn Duy Ngọc proposed several measures to improve traffic safety and order.
Ngọc said that as Việt Nam was on economic development mission, transport infrastructure improvements were crucial.
He suggested that provincial and municipal traffic safety committees must learn from experience what has been done well and what improvements were needed.
“One example is coach monitoring,” he said.
“It needs to be better directed because not monitoring journeys is the cause of many serious traffic accidents.”
He added that although the country still has many accident black spots, improvements had been made to about 20 per cent of them.
The Ministry of Public Security will direct traffic safety campaigns to educate motorists.
It will also strengthen coordination between police, prosecutors and the courts to ensure strict punishments for those who violate traffic laws.
“For illegal racing, we will assign provincial and municipal police and the court to open trials in public to create a strong deterrence,” said Ngọc.
Finally the Ministry of Transport and traffic safety committees will be asked to review all recommendations and prioritise those that need to be done first.
“The rainy season in the past few years has been very fierce, especially last year,” Ngọc said.
“Thanks to good forecasts and preparation plans, traffic police have coordinated with forces to guide vehicles through flooded places. This year, we also need a preparation plan to reduce congestion and accidents related to natural disasters.” — VNS