Govt outlines plans to curb surging road accidents in Laos

General Vilay Lakhamfong speaks at the National Assembly. - Vientiane Times/ANN

VIENTIANE: The government plans to tackle the high road accident rate, with a particular focus on curbing drunk driving, which police say is the main cause of accidents.

The number of accidents increases every year, claiming many lives and wrecking numerous vehicles, as reckless driving and disregard for safety continues across the country.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Security General Vilay Lakhamfong (pic) last week informed National Assembly members about the steps being taken to address the problem.

These will be carried out under a countrywide road safety plan.

The aim is to improve highway safety through the establishment of central and provincial safety committees, improve the condition of roads to make driving safer, carry out more checks to ensure all vehicles are roadworthy, enact more legislation, educate people about safe driving, enforce the traffic regulations, and strengthen emergency roadside assistance for accident victims.

The Ministry of Public Security and specialised departments have been working with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to conduct a road safety campaign involving offices, various organisations, schools, village groups and companies.

Safe driving tips have been publicised on television and radio, social media platforms and on roadside billboards, while training has been given to traffic police.

Police have carried out checks of drivers, patrolled roads on foot, and set up checkpoints on national highways and main roads in Vientiane, provinces and districts, including during peak travel times when festivals take place.

Despite these efforts, motorists continue to flout the rules and drive without due care and attention, as evidenced by accident statistics.

In 2022, a total of 6,440 accidents were recorded, rising to 6,806 in 2023.

In 2022, 11,358 vehicles were reported damaged, with the number rising to 12,029 a year later.

The number of people injured in road accidents in 2002 was recorded at 10,132, while 10,705 people suffered injuries in 2023.

In 2022, a total of 947 fatalities were recorded, with the figure dropping to 922 in 2023.

Drunk driving was cited as the reason for 1,553 accidents, 1,340 accidents were attributed to speeding, and not giving right of way was cited as the cause of 1,006 accidents.

General Vilay Lakhamfong outlined immediate and long-term solutions to the problem.

These include compliance with the national strategic plan for highway safety for 2021-2030 and the operational plan for 2021-2025.

Public awareness campaigns will be stepped up with more high-profile visual images used to alert drivers to the rules of the road and the dangers of driving recklessly.

Law enforcement will enhanced and harsh measures imposed on drivers who regularly break the rules. - Vientiane Times/ANN

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Laos , Govt , plan , curb , road accidents


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