Around 27 people were killed by traffic accidents every day of the Tet holidays in Vietnam,
according to the National Traffic Safety Committee.
Most of the incidents involved drunk driving and violations of the helmet law, the committee said.
The agency reported a total of 182 traffic accidents from January 30 – February 1, or Vietnam’s first three days of the Tet [Lunar New Year] festival, killing 80 people and injuring 214 others.
Severe traffic and gridlock was reported in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City during the new year countdown amid fireworks performances, and near temples and pagodas during the first days of the new year, when pilgrims traditionally show up in droves.
Nguyen Hoang Hiep, deputy chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, told VnExpress news website that there had been no serious accidents involving buses and trucks like previous Tets.
The long nine-day Tet holiday created a heavy load for buses and trucks before and after Tet, when a number of migrants went back to their hometowns and then returned to the cities for work, he said.
However, Hiep said most traffic accidents this year involved motorbike drivers who were drunk and not wearing helmets.
During the three days of Tet, traffic police pulled over 6,476 drivers for breaching the Traffic Law, temporarily seizing 10 cars and more than 2,200 motorbikes and issuing fines amounting to VND2.7 billion (US$128,357) in total.
Vietnam's high number of traffic accidents slightly reduced in 2013. Last year, there were 29,385 traffic accidents, killing 9,369 people and injuring about 29,500 others. In 2012, traffic accidents killed 9,424 people nationwide.
Vietnam has more than 37 million motorbikes and 2.03 million cars. The country’s population is 90 million people.
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