HCMC traffic accidents drop thanks to alcohol crackdown

By Gia Minh   March 30, 2024 | 08:00 pm PT
HCMC traffic accidents drop thanks to alcohol crackdown
Traffic police officers check the alcohol levels of a man in HCMC's Tan Phu District in 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Van
The number of injuries and deaths caused by traffic accidents in Ho Chi Minh City dropped significantly last year thanks to stricter enforcement of alcohol and speed laws, police announced.

Nguyen Van Binh, deputy head of the municipal traffic police division, said on Thursday there had been 1,729 traffic accidents in the city last year, resulting in 661 deaths and 1,049 injuries. Compared to 2022, the number of accidents had dropped by 19%, while the number of deaths and injuries had also dropped by 15% and 21%, respectively.

"Thanks to the relentless handling of alcohol and speed violations, the number of traffic accidents in the city has dropped," Binh said.

Last year, HCMC traffic police forces dealt with over 128,000 alcohol level violations, an increase of 130% from 2022. Some 95,000 speeding violations were handled last year, an increase of 57% compared to the same period of the previous year. These violations were mostly found on major streets like Pham Van Dong or Vo Van Kiet, Binh said.

"The city's police will continue to deal with alcohol and speeding violations as a focus," he said.

Bui Xuan Cuong, deputy chairman of the HCMC People's Committee, said 2023 was the year that saw the most significant drop in the number of traffic accidents over many years, greatly exceeding the targeted drop of 5%. However, the first three months of 2024 had seen a rise in the number of traffic accidents, so units need to be on guard, he said.

Cuong has also asked the Department of Transport to perform checks to organize traffic in accordance with the characteristics and travel demands of different areas. Units also need to hasten the progress of ongoing construction while adding vital projects to construction plans, such as the Thu Thiem 4 bridge or the HCMC-Thu Dau Mot-Chon Thanh expressway, he said.

The HCMC transport department previously said the city had nine traffic accident "black spots" last year, and managed to get rid of eight within the year. However, eight new spots later showed up, bringing the total number of "black spots" back to nine.

A traffic accident black spot is classified as a place where there have either been two deadly accidents a year; or three accidents with one deadly; or four accidents with injured people.

Besides the construction of new infrastructure, the department is also resolving issues regarding signage in areas prone to accidents as well.

This year, the city’s traffic sector strove to complete several major projects, including the expansion of National Highway 50 and the construction of the Nguyen Van Linh-Nguyen Huu Tho intersection, among others.

By the end of 2023, HCMC had managed over 9.2 million vehicles, including over 940,000 cars and around 8.3 million motorbikes. The number of vehicles in the city had increased by 4.64% compared to 2022, and the traffic capacity on several roads had been exceeded.

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