|Scene of a traffic accident at HCM City-Trung Luong Expressway in HCM City.The number of fatal traffic accidents occurring in expressways across the country is on the rise. — Photo dantri.com.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — The number of fatal traffic accidents occurring in expressways across the country is on the rise, according to an official from the Ministry of Transport, Lao Dong (Labourer) newspaper reported yesterday.
There were many causes for the situation but drivers running over speed limits and failing to keep a safe distance between their vehicles and others were identified as the major reason, said Nguyen Xuan Hung, from the Expressway Management Department.
Statistics from the Viet Nam Expressway Corporation showed that failing to keep a safe distance between their vehicles and others accounted for 31 per cent of traffic accidents in expressways this year.
The latest case was the crash between two coaches, travelling in the same direction, early this week killing two passengers and injuring 22 others in a stretch of Noi Bai – Lao Cai Expressway through northern Vinh Phuc Province.
The ministry said one of the coaches suddenly stopped to pick up passengers along the expressway and the coach running behind, at an unsafe distance, failed to control its speed and hit into the coach.
Hung said inadequate infrastructure and limited public awareness added to the situation.
Vice president of the National Committee for Traffic Safety Khuat Viet Hung said Viet Nam now had about 700 kilometres of expressways and people benefited from using these expressways.
However, people intentionally driving their motorbikes in expressways designed only for cars, drivers stopping to pick up passengers in expressways, and vehicles carrying goods beyond permitted capacity were causes for the increase of tragic traffic accidents, Hung said.
Hoang Xuan Nguyen, vice chairman of the People's Committee of Yen Bai Province said people living nearby expressways were found to damage expressway barriers, or they even open ice-tea stalls along the barriers, ignoring rules about safety for vehicles. This meant that the safety level for vehicles would be reduced and could lead to traffic accidents.
The corporation's findings said dozens of ice-tea stalls were found along the Noi Bai – Lao Cai Expressway since early this year.
Vu Quang Thai, from the ministry's Traffic Police Department said the ministry was compiling a set of regulations about safe distances for vehicles travelling in expressways to bring the situation under control.
Following this, the safe distance between two vehicles travelling in expressways was scheduled to be about 30-90 metres with speeds of 60-120km per hour. — VNS