Col Nguyen Duy Ngoc, head of Ha Noi's Traffic Police, spoke to the news website Viet Nam+ about the traffic situation in the capital and how to ensure greater traffic safety.
Ha Noi is one of the cities that the Prime Minister has praised for its efforts to reduce traffic accidents. But the traffic situation is only expected to get worse. What do you plan to do?
The municipal police dealt with around 11,000 traffic violations in the first half of this year. Many offenders who fled were detained. However, the traffic situation will be more challenging in the second half of the year as usual. This is mainly caused by students returning to the school, making areas around schools and universities become hot spots again. In addition, it's going to be autumn and winter when days are longer than nights. Fog and straw burning during harvest time will also have a negative influence on traffic safety.
Ha Noi's Traffic Police will co-operate with other relevant authorities to direct traffic in urgent situations. The raffic police will also address causes of traffic congestion and accidents, such as underage driving, failure to wear helmets, driving the wrong way on one-way streets, and passenger bus violations.
Are fines high enough to deter violations?
Our data shows that the number violations fined every month is high. In addition, under the Traffic Law, all serious violators have to take a traffic course and re-take their drivers licence exam.
Traffic accidents in the suburbs are increasing. What are your plans to reduce this growing problem?
Statistics show that accidents in the suburbs account for 70 per cent of all accidents in the city. The main reason is poor traffic infrastructure while many national highways and expressways cross these areas. The awareness of drivers is poor and many do not follow traffic regulations.
The Ha Noi Traffic Police have requested local police and authorities to strengthen law enforcement. We have also asked the municipal Department of Transport to put in place more traffic signs in place, improve infrastructure and clear roads. Things have gradually improved.
The rainy season has been heavy this year. Have you been prepared for the flooding?
If prolonged rains occur, there are 29 areas at risk of flooding which usually cause traffic jams. It's been raining much more than usual this year, so we understand it will affect traffic. As soon as the water drainage company completed a flood map for the city, we worked out a detailed plan to cope with it and assigned tasks to local police units.
During heavy rains, the first task of traffic policemen is to direct traffic, not to fine violations. Therefore, I would like to call on drivers to follow traffic regulations in order to keep the traffic in order. — VNS