|A traffic jam on National Road 1 in HCM City. Police across the country have been told to intensify patrols to catch people who break red lights, exceed speed limits, do not wear helmets on motorbikes or drive under the influence. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HA NOI (VNS)— A fresh nationwide crackdown on all traffic violations was called for at the conclusion of a teleconference held on Thursday to set traffic management tasks for the second half of this year.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who heads the National Committee on Traffic Safety, chaired the conference.
He ordered police across the country to intensify patrols, including those by grassroots (commune-level) quasi-military forces, to catch people who break red lights, exceed speed limits, do not wear helmets on motorbikes or drive under the influence.
He wanted particular attention paid to tightening controls on long-distance coaches to prevent cramming of passengers and on overloaded trucks that were damaging roads.
All buses must be checked for roadworthiness before departure, Phuc said.
Motor vehicles not meeting safety standards can be forced off the roads, or have their operations suspended (taxis and buses, for instance)
In serious cases, businesses that run transport services can have their business licences revoked, Phuc said, adding that waterway transportation will also be a target of the crackdown.
The new campaign to improve traffic safety will focus first on popular tourism destinations.
The Deputy PM said traffic police should invest more in hi-tech equipment in order to better detect violations, especially trucks carrying loads beyond their capacity.
This year has been earmarked for tightening control over transport businesses, especially overloading, he reminded them. He also noted that the from now until the end of the year, it is the rainy season, so traffic police should get ready to help protect the lives and vehicles of road users.
In light of increasing reports of vandalism in the first half of the year, including destruction of road surfaces (Highway 1), breaking of road signs, and stoning of vehicles, more effective awareness campaigns were needed, the conference heard.
Learning in schools
Phuc ordered the Ministry of Education and Training to mainstream the teaching of traffic rules into school curriculums.
Since the education ministry was working on a project to develop new curricula and textbooks, it was a proper time to think about the age-group that can receive traffic education, and about how the subject could be spaced through an academic year, Phuc said.
He said his ministry would select a number of teachers in general-education schools (from Grade 1 to Grade 12) in the three provinces of Hai Phong, Nghe An and Ba Ria – Vung Tau for trial teaching of traffic rules.
A traffic law awareness campaign targeting students will be launched in Nghe An Province and HCM City this September.
The same month, a traffic rules quiz competition will be organised by the Ministry of Education and Training in collaboration with the National Committee on Traffic Safety.
The first half of the year saw 11,179 traffic accidents that killed 4,478 people and injured 10,149 others. Year-on-year, the number of accidents fell by 1,648 and there were 221 fewer deaths. — VNS