Some 11,449 people died in traffic accidents this year, about the same figure as last year, Nguyen Viet Chuc of the National Traffic Police Department told the German Press Agency dpa.

The number of injured rose 31 per cent to 10,663, he added.

The Vietnamese government has taken measures to contain traffic accidents in recent years, but failed to reduce traffic accidents by its goal of 5 per cent this year.

Public Security Deputy Minister Le The Tiem said free movement to urban areas, an increasing number of vehicles, poor road quality, speeding and lack of basic road awareness were partially at fault.

Vietnam has 18 million motorbikes for a population of 86 million. Economists and organizations, including the Asian Development Bank, estimated Vietnam lost nearly one billion dollars annually from road accidents over the past five years.

The fatality figures were calculated using data from November 1, 2009 to November 30 this year.

Deutche Presse Agentur - December 31, 2010