Japanese firms offer technology and training to reduce traffic accidents in Vietnam

By VnExpress   January 17, 2017 | 04:56 pm GMT+7
Japanese firms offer technology and training to reduce traffic accidents in Vietnam
A crowded street in Hanoi. Photo by AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam

One person is killed every hour by accidents on Vietnam's roads at present.

Japanese companies are looking to help reduce the number of road accidents in Vietnam by introducing surveillance technology and driving safety courses.

Logistics company Nippon Express will pay to install digital tachographs to 150 trucks in Vietnam this month to record the vehicles’ movements and provide necessary training to drivers, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

If the system proves effective, Vietnam's Transport Ministry will make the devices mandatory on all trucks across the country. Logistics firms will be required to pay for the new technology.  

The devices will be connected to a server at the company’s office in Ho Chi Minh City and record data such as engine revolutions, acceleration and tilt, while detecting sudden movements like starting, braking and steering. The data will be logged every 30 seconds, allowing the company to rank drivers and provide training to improve their driving skills.

In Malaysia, the company’s system has cut the number of traffic accidents by a tenth and increased fuel efficiency by nearly 10 percent, the report said.

Traffic accidents kill one person every hour in Vietnam, according to official figures. The rate is three times higher than in Japan.

Automakers Honda and Toyota also plan to provide more driver training courses in Vietnam.

Toyota Motor in March last year awarded its first specialist qualifications to eight people, including a police officer and a car dealer.

The company plans to extend the program and train a few dozen more auto safety instructors this year.

Deputy Minister of Public Security Bui Van Thanh was quoted by the Nikkei as saying that taking advantage of the global automakers' know-how could help reduce the number of accidents in Vietnam significantly.

Honda is also expected to open a driving safety training center in the northern province of Vinh Phuc this summer. The center, covering 32,000 square meters, is similar to those Honda runs in Japan and Singapore, and will receive 12,000 trainees every year.

Traffic accidents in Vietnam surged significantly from 10,000 in 2012 to more than 30,000 in 2013. The number has been reduced slightly in recent years, to around 21,600 in 2016.

Vietnam raised fines for traffic violations by 20-60 percent to a maximum of VND18 million ($800) in August last year.

But experts said there are still high risks of traffic crashes given the rising number of smart phones and vehicles.

Vietnam’s car sales in 2016 hit a 20-year high of 304,427, up a staggering 24 percent from the previous year. Around 3.1 million new motorbikes also hit the street last year, up 9.5 percent from 2015.

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