HA NOI (VNS)— Ha Noi Police have started to clampdown on drivers that break traffic laws in an effort to ensure public order and traffic safety during the lunar New Year festival, which falls on February 10.
Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Dao Vinh Thang, deputy head of the municipal Traffic Police Department, said that the three-month long crackdown would focus on violations made by passenger coaches and motorbike drivers.
In the inner city, the police would work with mobile police and district-level police to deter violations such as running red lights, traveling the wrong way up a one-way street, illegal parking, drunk driving and driving without a helmet.
On the highways, police would implement inspections of overcrowded coaches and buses that took undefined routes, he said.
The crackdown aims to reduce the number of traffic accidents by 10 per cent from last year, and cut traffic jams by 20 per cent.
According to the municipal Traffic Police Department, there have been 777 traffic accidents in the city so far this year that claimed 619 lives and injured 397. The number of fatalities and injuries increased by 17.4 and 10.4 per cent respectively compared to the same period last year.
So far, police have seized over 40,000 vehicles and revoked 64,000 driving licences this year.
According to Thang, new fines for traffic violations announced last September were up to three times higher than previous levels, and have had the desired effect on road users.
Since the start of the crackdown on November 10, police have issued the new fines for serious violations, such as VND10-15 million (US$480-720) for drink-driving, and VND6 million ($288) for speeding.
"These heavy fines have forced drivers to take note," Thang said, adding that police fined thousands of cases each day, but the number of violators had increased annually.
Nguyen Hong Hiep, vice chairman of the National Committee on Traffic Safety, said that the new fines were intended to act as a deterrent and weren't based on personal incomes.
He suggested enforcing the crackdown throughout the year to discourage drivers from reverting back to bad habits. — VNS