Vietnam should not limit motorcycles: World Bank

By Mai Ha, Thanh Nien News

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Motorcyclists ride on a Hanoi street decorated with lotus-shapped lanterns hanging over a street in Hanoi. Photo credit: AFP Motorcyclists ride on a Hanoi street decorated with lotus-shapped lanterns hanging over a street in Hanoi. Photo credit: AFP

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The World Bank has urged Vietnam to improve safety for motorcyclists without placing limits on the number of motorcycles – the main vehicle used in the accidents that kill 25 people a day.
Meanwhile, Vietnam should also encourage people to find suitable public means of transportation, the World Bank said in a statement issued Tuesday during a conference it held with the National Traffic Safety Committee.
According to the National Traffic Safety Committee, motorcycles are the primary means of transportation in Vietnam and account for 85 percent of road vehicles nationwide.
Motorcycles account for 70 percent of traffic accidents, the agency said.
By April, 2014, drivers had registered over 39 million motorbikes, far exceeding the previous plan to hit 36 million in 2020. The country has more than 89 million people.
According to a World Bank study released at the conference, Hanoians are not willing to change their habit of using motorcycles despite concerns about their impact on public health and the environment.
Despite the fact that 95 percent of motorcyclists wear helmets generally, only one in every four children wear helmets while driving, according to the survey of nearly 6,000 people in Hanoi.
According to David Spice of the World Bank, it is difficult to make drivers give up their motorcycles due to current state of public transportation.
Policymakers in Vietnam should focus more on managing the use of motorcycles rather than limiting ownership, he said.
According to the latest report from the National Traffic Safety Committee, roughly 25 people died in traffic accidents, every day, this year in Vietnam.
According to the committee's figures, a total of 7,475 people died in traffic accidents nationwide between January and October.
The stats claimed that 19,937 others were injured in 20,801 traffic accidents, a slight decrease over last year.
 

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