To identify the extent and nature of the problem and the main contributing factors to drink driving crashes; determine the current mechanisms in place, particularly in terms of legislation and its enforcement; and identify baseline data and relevant stakeholders.
The situational assessment was based on the collection of secondary data from available reports and documents, in-depth interviews with key representatives at a central level, and field surveys in provinces.
Vietnam has experienced phenomenal growth in motor vehicles, especially motorcycles, in the last decade (400%). This initially led to an increase in deaths from road crashes, but since 2006 the number has stayed fairly level according to police statistics. However, comparisons with health data suggest that the number of deaths is much higher and there are clearly a number of problems with the relevant data systems. Data on the percentage of drivers exceeding legal limits are not available, but police statistics indicated that drinking alcohol was a contributory factor in 7 percent of motor vehicle crashes. This is likely to be an underestimate, because the police and health services do not have the equipment to measure the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of all drivers in crashes. Motorcycle riders and young people are in the high-risk groups. There are strict BAC limits starting at over zero and severe punishments for drunk drivers involved in serious crashes. However, the police do not have adequate manpower or equipment to conduct regular and frequent roadside checking for drivers who have been drinking. There have also been a number of education programs on road safety including drinking and driving, but these have not included sustained and intensive campaigns targeting the high-risk groups. The National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC) is responsible for coordinating the relevant agencies but there is still a problem with lack of information sharing between agencies.
This study completed a comprehensive situational assessment that examined the problem of drinking and driving and identified some of the weaknesses in the current prevention system. Vietnam currently has 2 international projects on road safety and it is hoped that these together with support from the International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) Global Actions program will provide opportunities for strengthening drinking and drive prevention initiatives by improving the road crash and injury database, building the capacity of the key organizations, strengthening the coordination mechanisms, and implementing and evaluating trial drink-drive interventions.
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