The National Traffic Safety Committee says Vietnam saw a 19 percent year-on-year drop in the number of traffic accidents in the first six months.
It said there were a total of 6,790 traffic accidents recorded in the first six months across the country, killing 3,242 and injuring 4,939 people. Most of the traffic accidents occurred on roads, causing 3,165 deaths and 1,918 injuries, the committee said Friday.
On average, 17 people died in traffic accidents per day, a drop from the average of 20 recorded the previous year.
Tran Huu Minh, deputy head of the committee, said Covid-19 had contributed to the fall in traffic accidents because there was less traffic on the road when the nationwide social distancing campaign was in force.
Tougher DUI (driving under the influence) regulations have also played a part, he noted.
A decree that took effect on January 1 imposes stiff penalties for drunk driving. Riding cycles and electric bicycles under the influence became finable offenses. Motorcyclists and car drivers can be fined VND6-8 million and VND30-40 million ($1,300-1,725), double the old fines and have their licenses suspended for 22-24 months.
“Major hospitals across the nation have reported that the number of patients admitted after traffic accidents had dropped by 90 percent (since the decree took effect),” Minh said.
Road accidents are a leading cause of death in Vietnam. There were over 17,000 accidents in 2019, which claimed 7,624 lives.
Reporting by Doan Loan @ VNExpress