Measures to curb traffic accidents, road congestion in big cities and transport infrastructure projects were highlighted during an online dialogue on Jan. 12 between Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang and citizens at home and abroad.

Thang said his sector has been taking all necessary steps to forward these three initiatives, which were his stated priorities when he took office five months ago.

"These are big issues and cannot be solved in a short time as they require the involvement of the whole political system and the whole population," he said, adding that his time in office has been marked by consensus and support from the people.

The minister expressed his determination to reduce the number of both fatal and non-fatal traffic accidents by 5 to 10 percent.

"I need to emphasise that it is the responsibility of local People's Committees to create measures to curb traffic congestion, while the Ministry of Transport should function as a coordinating State management agency," he said.

In terms of progress and quality of transport construction, Thang said that a breakthrough is needed to mobilise all sources of investment, including the issuance of construction bonds, ODA, build-operate-transfer (BOT), build-transfer (BT) and public private partnership (PPP).

"Obviously, it is necessary to draw from different sources for infrastructure in the context of restructuring the public investment," he said. "To do so, we need to have detailed policies and regulations, and the use of transport infrastructure needs to cost something—just like the use of electricity and water."

"At the moment, slow progress on transport projects is a real problem," Thang added.

He called for the legal framework to be completed with policies regulating the progress, quality and supervision of projects so as to decentralise their management.

"If a project is inspected and found to be of a low quality, contractors and other participants such as management boards, design consultants and supervisors will be held responsible," he said.

Thang also promised to review the challenges facing non-State transport enterprises to create the most favourable conditions for them to join in public services for the people.

"Developing public transport is essential and we are working on a public transport system that is friendly to people with disabilities and offers better services," he said.

Responding to questions and comments via the Government's portal,, the transport minister said that he will be willing to engage in a more direct dialogues in the future.

"People's concerns and irritations are legitimate since these are all hot issues in the society," Thang said. /.