HCM CITY — Authorities in HCM City plan to reduce by 10 per cent this year the number of traffic accidents as well as traffic jams that last for more than 30 minutes, an official has said.
Speaking at a meeting held last week, Nguyen Huu Tin, deputy chairman of the city People's Committee, said the target was feasible because 2012 had been chosen as the year of traffic safety.
The municipal Party Committee would soon instruct departments and sectors to set up action plans and implement them early to observe 2012 as "Traffic Safety Year", he said.
Concerned agencies had been asked to strengthen public awareness of traffic safety issues, step up traffic inspections and strictly punish traffic law violations, he said.
Tin asked the Department of Transport to review and revoke licences that allow using roadsides and pavements for doing business and parking vehicles wherever they cannot be sustained now.
The heads of district People's Committees would have to prepare plans to solve illegal encroachment of roadsides and pavements in their localities and set a time by which they would do so, he said.
Le Toan, deputy director of the municipal Department of Transport, said the city was determined to restore order at roadsides and pavements, reroute traffic lanes and tighten management of driving lessons as well as the granting of driving licences this year.
The city would also improve public transportation services, expedite work on major public transportation projects, and add more staff to regulate traffic flow at sites prone to traffic jams, he said.
It was also determined to solve the situation of illegal bus stations and illegal buses and review the situation of inter-provincial buses running through the city centre, he added.
A draft plan to replace 1,680 buses in the 2010-13 period should be completed by the first quarter of this year.
The Department of Transport has asked the municipal administration to provide enough capital to complete construction of ongoing infrastructure projects this year, including provincial Road No 10, the Rach Chiec Bridge and the East Belt Road.
The city is expected to begin work on several transportation projects, including the Sai Gon Bridge No 2, Binh Tien Bridge and Road, and the upgrade of provincial Road No 9.
HCM City has decided to spend more than VND450 billion (US$21.4 million) in rerouting lanes, traffic lights, monitoring traffic accident-prone sites and installing median strips by the second quarter of this year.
The city administration has identified 23 accident-prone roads that account for nearly 40 per cent of the city's traffic accidents.
In recent years, the city has only been able to reduce by 2 per cent per year the number of traffic accidents. — VNS