BackStories » Vietnam » Traffic Accidents Killed 9,000, Seriously Injured Thousands More in Vietnam Last Year

In Vietnam, traffic accidents remain one of the leading causes of deaths, but the country still hasn’t done enough to stress the importance of road safety to its citizens.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently held a meeting on Vietnam’s traffic situation in collaboration with relevant government agencies and NGOs, reports Dan Tri.

At the conference, the National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC) revealed that in 2016, about 9,000 lives were lost to traffic-related accidents, while tens of thousands more suffered injuries from street collisions.

“Every year in Vietnam, the lives of thousands of families are torn apart by the loss of a child to a road accident that could have been prevented,” Jesper Moller, acting UNICEF Representative, said at the event.

Age-wise, traffic accidents were the second most-common cause of death and injury among children, causing 27% of fatalities last year in the 0-19 age group. When only teenagers aged 15-19 are considered, the situation is even more alarming, as 50% of fatalities among teens were due to road accidents; the leading cause of death for this demographic.

Dr. Lokky Wai, WHO’s Vietnam representative, believes that despite their severity, traffic collisions are highly preventable through tackling the root causes, such as speeding, with effective measures.

“Speeding is a major risk factor for road traffic crashes in Vietnam,” Wai said, according to the news source. “By slowing down, observing speed limits appropriate for the roads and not speeding, we make roads safer for all. Reducing the average speed by just 5 kilometers per hour can help cut fatal accidents by 30%.”

The United Nations has been lobbying for stricter enforcement of speed limits in Vietnam. The organization also strongly recommended a reduction in nation-wide speed limits to 50 kilometers per hour in urban areas and 30 kilometers per hour in densely populated neighborhoods such as school zones and residential areas where children, pedestrians and cyclists are concentrated.

[Photo via VTC]

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