Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Pereric Högberg speaking at the event (Photo: MV)

This information was recorded in a seminar to improve traffic safety in Vietnam co-organized by the Embassy of Sweden and National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC) on November 8th, in Hanoi.

The event was attended by representatives from Ministry of Transport, Hanoi Department of Transport, Vietnamese companies and Swedish enterprises such as Volvo Trucks and Buses, Scania Trucks and Buses, and Axis Communications.

In his opening remarks, Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Pereric Högberg said Vietnamese cities are facing many challenges in the transport sector as the urbanization level is increasing and the middle class is developing.

“Swedish companies joining the event are willing to learn from and share common interests in dealing with difficulties and challenges in ensuring traffic safety with Vietnam,” he added.

According to the NTSC, in 2017, Vietnam witnessed a total of 20,000 accidents, claiming the lives of more than 8,000 people and injuring 17,000 others. Meanwhile WHO estimates, road traffic accidents are the primary cause of death for Vietnamese between 15-29 years. This is however a trend that can be reversed through active policy work.

In Sweden, from the mid -1960s to the present, the number of fatalities in road accidents has decreased from about 17 per 100,000 inhabitants to 2.6 per 100,000 (2015). This is partly due to the concept called Vision Zero.

Dr. Matts Belin, Safety Strategies Swedish Transport Administration said Vision Zero policy “puts people first” and focuses in particular on counteracting accidents that can lead to fatalities or lifelong injuries, instead of focusing on accident prevention in general.

In practice, the Vision Zero has involved measures like separating car lanes with physical barriers and building so-called two-plus-one roads, which consist of a two-lane section in one direction and one-lane section in the other, allowing for safe overtaking, Matts added.

Mr. Nguyen Hoang Hai, Director of Hanoi Urban Transport Management and Operation Center, proposed solutions to increase management of Hanoi urban transport such as building an overall program for investment in framework traffic infrastructure for the 2017-2021 period, with a vision to 2030; establishing parking scheme; improving and building new backbone roads, ring roads, bridges, tunnels and intersections; and modernizing traffic management center.

At the seminar, Volvo Trucks and Buses, Scania Trucks and Buses, and Axis Communications also shared visions to increase traffic safety and reduce accidents in Vietnam in the near future./.