Fewer road crashes but more traffic jams in H1 hinh anh 1Some 46 severe traffic jams (lasting over half an hour) occur in January – June, a year-on-year increase of 8 percent. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam saw a decline in road accidents in the first half of 2019 while the number of prolonged traffic congestion was on a rise, according to the latest report of the National Committee for Road Safety.

As many as 8.385 traffic accidents, resulting in 3,810 deaths and 6,358 injuries, were recorded, down 7.1 percent, 7.55 percent and 9.65 percent from the same period last year.

There were 19 serious accidents that claimed a total of 73 lives and injured 87 people.

The traffic fatality rate reduced in 47 major cities and provinces, the report said.

It also indicated that 46 severe traffic jams (lasting over half an hour) occurred in January – June, a year-on-year increase of 8 percent. Road crashes were blamed for 33 cases, accounting 71.7 percent of the total, while seven cases, or 15.2 percent, were caused by excessive number of vehicles on roads.

In January, the Ministry of Transport issued a plan on improving traffic safety for 2019, which details measures to raise public awareness and compliance with traffic rules, among others.

The plan aims to reduce traffic accidents and related casualties by 10 percent compared to 2018. The numbers of deaths and injuries caused by accidents involving motorcycles and coaches are projected to decrease by 10 percent.

The ministry has also ordered the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam to tighten the granting of licenses for drivers of both cars and trucks with changes to be made in driving lesson, instructors, and practical behind-the-wheel tests.

The move came following a disastrous traffic accident in the southern province of Long An where a container truck hit 21 motorbikes waiting at a red light at the Nhut Chanh junction in Ben Luc district.

The crash killed three people on the spot and injured 17 others. One more person died at hospital. The truck driver was later found to have used both drugs and alcohol.

The ministry has requested transport firms to require all of their drivers to take medical checkups and immediately fire those tested positive for drugs.–VNA