Traffic accidents are Vietnam's national disaster: minister

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Traffic accidents in Vietnam are "disastrous" and should be considered as a "national disaster," the transport minister said in his report to the National Assembly.

According to Dinh La Thang's report submitted to the legislature on Monday, since the beginning of this year, 9,265 people have been killed, while 8,375 others have been injured in traffic accidents across Vietnam.

The death toll stands at more than 75 percent of Japan's March massive quake and tsunami, and the injuries is nearly double that of the Japanese disaster, he stressed.

The government will introduce various solutions to decrease traffic accidents nationwide as well as to alleviate traffic congestion in big cities such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, the minister said.

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Projects to restrict personal vehicles and collect tolls from cars entering cities' downtown will be included, he added, stressing that they will also clear pavements for pedestrians and vehicles, and adjust working and school hours to reduce traffic jams during rush hours.

The government aims to decrease traffic jams that last more than 30 minutes in HCMC and Hanoi next year, and lessen traffic accidents as well, according to Thang.

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