Drink driving a concern for Laos

VIENTIANE: Over 400 people were killed in road accidents across the country in the first four months of this year, with most crashes attributed to drink driving.

Local daily Vientiane Times yesterday quo­ted Major-Gen Somkeo Silavong’s report at the ongoing fifth ordinary session of the National Assembly’s eighth Legislature, when responding to a question raised by members of the parliament last Friday.

In the first four months of this year, there were 2,341 road accidents around the country, killing 429 people, injuring 3,816 people and damaging 4,067 vehicles, Major-Gen Somkeo said.

Most of the accidents recorded had occur­red in the major cities of Vientiane, Cham­passak and Savannakhet.

Many accidents occurred on Fridays, Satur­days and Sundays between 5pm and 9.30pm, with most of the crashes involving motorbikes.

Road accidents are increasing as the number of vehicles in the country rises.

Currently, there are 1,979,007 vehicles in Laos, including 1,513,281 motorbikes, but road development has not kept pace with the growing number of vehicles.

Meanwhile, statistics showed that 26.6% of traffic violations involved drink driving, with 19.6% being the result of speeding.

Last year, there were 5,868 road accidents in Laos with 1,053 fatalities, 2,385 people sustaining injuries and 3,129 vehicles damaged.

This was an average of 3.9 people killed each day.

However, the number of fatalities fell by 33 people compared to 2016.

“To solve this issue, we will concentrate on implementing and advertising Prime Minis­ter’s Decree No. 188, which outlines fines and measures against traffic transgressors and an awareness campaign for road users to prevent accidents on national roads,” Major-Gen Somkeo said. — Xinhua