Traffic accidents drop after drink-driving law takes effect

FRIDAY, 17/01/2020 17:36:44

The number of accidents fell by 31, or 9%, while the number of fatalities decreased by 38 people, or 13%, compared with the previous two weeks.

A traffic police officer conducts a breathalyser test on a driver in Ha Noi

The number of traffic accidents has fallen dramatically, just two weeks after the drink-driving law took effect, according to Le Xuan Duc, deputy head of the Traffic Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS).

Speaking at a press conference held in Ha Noi on Thursday, he said that 322 traffic accidents took place across the country from January 1 to 15, killing 249 people and injuring 158 others.

The number of accidents fell by 31, or 9 per cent, while the number of fatalities decreased by 38 people, or 13 per cent, compared with the previous two weeks.

Traffic police have stopped 6,279 drivers under the influence of alcohol and collected over VND21 billion (US$907,750) over the first half of January.

“People now consider the punishment before drinking and driving. The compliance with the laws has been raised, especially for civil servants and the armed forces.”

“During the past two weeks, there have been no serious alcohol-related accidents,” Duc said.

Doctor Gia Anh from Viet Duc Hospital said every year the hospital conducts 10,000 surgeries. Of these, 75 per cent are related to traffic accidents.

“Over the past two weeks, the number of patients admitted to the hospital due to traffic accidents has dropped 10 per cent, even though this is usually a peak time,” he said.

“This is a good sign for both road users and the Government,” Anh said, adding that reducing traffic accidents would help relieve the burden on the health sector.

In related news, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has issued an instruction on strengthening the implementation of the Law on Alcohol Harm Prevention and the Government’s decree No 100/2019 on administrative fines for road and railway violations which took effect on January 1.

He said traffic order and safety has seen positive changes, with traffic accidents decreasing after ministries and localities took measures on preventing drink driving.

The Government decree has received a positive response from society, he said.

The PM asked the MoPS to direct units under its leadership and localities to tackle traffic violations, especially during the Lunar New Year and upcoming Spring Festivals.

All violations should be strictly dealt with, he said.

According to new regulations, car drivers will be fined VND30-40 million ($1,297-1,729) and have their driving licences revoked for 22-24 months if they are caught driving under the influence of alcohol.

Motorcyclists may face a VND6-8 million ($259-346) fine and have their driving licences revoked for 22-24 months for the same offence.



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