The Minister of Public Works and Transport announced his plan to increase state budgets for road safety work by setting up a fund amid the increasing number of road accidents in Laos.
Mr. Ngampasong Muongmany, Minister of Public Works and Transport, recently informed the National Assembly that the ministry spends between LAK 17 and 18 billion (over USD 800) a year, or 2.8% of the national budget, on road safety work.
In Laos, 80% of the state budget of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport is allocated to all transport-related activities, such as the repair of national and local roads, new road construction, and the fund for the provincial City Office for Management and Service.
According to the minister, the country loses approximately 1,000 people annually to road accidents, and in the past five years, road accidents have claimed the lives of 5,000 individuals. He added that the condition of roads across the country needs to be developed and consistently maintained to prevent many of these accidents.
To this effect, the Ministry and National Road Safety Committee (NRSC) discussed establishing a fund for the National Road Safety campaign to combat speeding and drunk driving-related traffic accidents.
A Vientiane Times report says that the National Road Fund will also closely monitor the repair and maintenance of roads in the country and it will be financed by the fees charged to vehicles entering and exiting the four bridges on the Lao-Thai border across the Mekong River, from fines charged to motorists, and various other sources.
Laos recorded over 900 deaths in road accidents in 2022; the leading cause of death being drunk driving and speeding, while in June this year, 55 people were killed in road accidents, according to the Traffic Police Department at the Ministry of Public Security.