Vietnam mourns road-accident victims with remembrance day

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Officials and monks observe a minute's silence for road traffic victims in Hanoi Monday

Vietnam organized its own day of remembrance for road traffic victims with a minute's silence at a ceremony in Hanoi Monday and several other events.

It has been marking the UN's World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on the third Sunday of November in a low-key manner since 2010, but has decided to make it a major annual event on November 19 from this year.

In the morning teachers and students across the country observed a minute's silence, online newspaper VnExpress reported.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is also the chairman of the National Committee for Traffic Safety, speaking at the ceremony, expressed his condolence to people who lost loved ones in accidents.

Road accidents kill some 11,000 people in Vietnam every year, the 11th highest number in the world, according to the committee.

Phuc called for awareness of the need to observe traffic laws and urged related authorities to make the country as well as its traffic safer and more civilized.

"Every Vietnamese needs to be fully aware of the immeasurable harm done by traffic accidents to the country's general development as well as the life of every person and every family," he said.

"We have to recognize the truth that in every traffic accident there is the responsibilities and faults of every individual, the community, and state agencies."

In the central city of Da Nang, where 11 people die and 10 are injured in traffic accidents every month, local Party leaders placed 1,000 flower lanterns in the Han River in memory of victims.

Despite rain, the families of many victims turned up to pray for their loved ones along the river bank in a ceremony watched by many foreign tourists.

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Various activities have also been organized in many other provinces and cities, including a month-long campaign to promote the event and improve people's awareness of traffic accidents, and visits by officials to victims and their families.

On November 11 the committee had organized a prayer ceremony.

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