As usual, Vietnam recorded a high number of traffic deaths over the extended holiday weekend, with 104 dead and 135 injured, a government agency said late Sunday.
For the Gregorian New Year's holiday this year, the government allowed civil servants to take a day off on Friday, January 2, 2015 to have four consecutive days off between January 1 and 4. By doing so, they had to work on Saturday, December 27, 2014 to make up for their extra day off.
During the four-day holiday, the number of accidents rose to 209 from 192 cases reported in the same period last year, when 106 people were killed and 118 injured, the National Traffic Safety Committee said in a report. On January 4 alone, 48 traffic accidents happened across the country, killing 22 people and injuring 38 others, the report said.
An overwhelming majority of the accidents were caused by motorcyclists who breached traffic rules, causing 208 accidents with 103 killed and 135 injured, according to the report. There was one waterway accident, killing one, it said.
Traffic accidents are not uncommon to motorbike-dominated Vietnam, which often records a spike in casualties during national holidays.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has also signed off on a proposal that will grant state employees nine days off for the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, which will begin on February 15 and end on February 23.
During the nine-day Tet break last year, 286 people were killed and 324 injured in traffic accidents.
Latest figures showed during the first 10 months of 2014, Vietnam reported 20,801 accidents resulting in 7,474 deaths. In 2013, 29,385 traffic accidents happened across the country, leaving 9,369 dead.