As Vietnam celebrates its new year, 246 people killed in traffic accidents

427 traffic accidents took place within the first six days of the Vietnamese new year celebration (Tet), killing 246 people and injuring 415 others, the National Traffic Safety Committee said on Sunday.

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On the second day of the first month of the Vietnamese calendar alone, there were 65 road traffic accidents nationwide, killing 35 people and injuring 89 others, the NTSC added. The next day, the number climbed to 87 accidents with 47 people killed and 89 injured.

Most of the accidents were alcohol-related. NTSC also reported motorbikes overloaded and exceeding speed limit as a source of killers. This seems to be nothing new: lax safety standard, drunk driving, and bad traffic conditions remain primary reasons behind high traffic fatalities in developing countries.

Vietnam is notorious for its wildly high traffic death toll rate. Though there have not yet been reliable statistics, traffic-related deaths in the country are estimated to be between 11,000 and 15,000 per year, amounting to the death toll of 15,889 from the tsunami that struck Japan in 2011.

Tet [Tết˥]), or Vietnamese New Year, is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. This year, Tet is celebrated for nine days from 15th to 24th February.

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