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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Railway accidents in Vietnam

Railway accidents in Vietnam are common. According to statistics released by national railway company Vietnam Railways, 451 railway accidents were reported across the country's railway network in 2010, having caused 211 deaths and 284 injuries. A joint Japanese-Vietnamese evaluation team reported in 2007 that the poor state of railway infrastructure was the fundamental cause for most railway accidents, of which the most common types were train crashes against vehicles and persons, especially at illegal level crossings; derailments caused by failure to decrease speed were also noted as a common cause of accidents. As of 2010, around 90% of all railway accidents occurred at level crossings without safety fences, and most were said to have been caused by motorists failing to follow traffic safety laws. One researcher from Villanova University reported that, on average, one accident occurred on Vietnam's railways every day.
Along with recent efforts aimed at infrastructure rehabilitation, the recent adoption of safety measures by Vietnam Railways has led to a decline in railway accidents. These measures include: public awareness campaigns on railway safety in the media; construction of fences and safety barriers at critical level crossings in major cities; mobilization of volunteers for traffic control at train stations and level crossings, especially during holiday seasons; the installation of additional auto-signal systems; and the construction of flyovers and underpasses to redirect traffic.

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