Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on June 26 called on all provinces and relevant agencies to find ways to reduce the number of traffic accidents nationwide, despite a fall in the number of accidents and fatalities in the first six months compared to the same period last year.

According to statistics from the National Traffic Safety Committee, more than 4,950 people were killed and nearly 20,000 were injured in traffic accidents during the first six months of the year.

However, the number of accidents dropped by nearly 22 percent and the number of people killed decreased by nearly 17 percent compared with last year.

At the online meeting on June 25 held to assess traffic safety measures, Phuc recognised the models being implemented in many cities that had helped lower the number of traffic accidents and congestion, such as Hanoi's efforts to catch criminal activities on buses, Da Nang's campaign to promote safe helmets, and An Giang province's efforts to encourage office workers to say no to alcohol during lunchtimes.

The deputy PM also pointed out that low awareness of traffic safety was also a major problem, partly causing the number of people killed in traffic accidents to suddenly increase in several provinces such as Dong Nai (37.6 percent), Bac Lieu (35.3 percent), Lai Chau (23.1 percent).

To decrease the number of people killed in traffic accidents by 5-10 percent this year, considered the national year to promote traffic safety, Phuc noted that the National Traffic Safety Committee should continue to send inspection teams to localities with high numbers of traffic accidents and work with localities on major incidents.

The Deputy PM said that all agencies under the Ministry of Transport should work to lower traffic fatalities and congestion, including work to improve the training and examination of drivers, registration of vehicles, public transportation systems, and efforts to eliminate the number of personal vehicles in major urban areas.

The deputy PM called on the Public Security Ministry to intensify punishments of traffic law violations and continue to implement the model of special task forces to work with local police departments to crack down on traffic violations and monitor traffic safety.

In HCM City , an average of 60 traffic accidents occurred each month in the first half of the year, according to a report released by the city's Traffic Safety Board.

There were 368 traffic accident cases, 142 less than the same period last year.

Police said 312 people were killed, 138 fewer than the same period last year, and 169 others were injured, a drop of 116.

Only one railway accident, resulting in one death, and four waterway accidents, with no fatalities, were reported during the period.

Six cases of traffic congestion lasting more than 30 minutes were reported, a decrease of 80 percent compared with the same period last year.

"Despite the fall in the number of traffic accidents as well as deaths and injuries, more efforts will be taken to address traffic problems as the number of vehicles on city roads is increasing," police said.

More than 500 traffic police were deployed to regulate traffic at 124 road junctions with heavy traffic flows across the city everyday, resulting in a decline in traffic accidents as well as traffic congestion.

Traffic police and public security forces in city districts worked together to identify 52 routes with high potential for illegal motorbike racing. As a result, they confiscated more than 3,800 vehicles during the period.

The upward trend in traffic density and poor traffic safety behavior among road users were blamed for the high number of traffic accidents.

The city's Traffic Safety Board said it will closely cooperate with departments and agencies to raise public awareness about traffic-safety regulations and further reduce the number of traffic accidents, as well as death tolls and injuries./.rastructure Developer Co (IJC), insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), and VNDirect Securities Co (VND).-VNA