|The Ha Noi police handled more than one hundred jaywalking cases yesterday. — Photo vietnamnet.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — More than 100 pedestrians violated traffic laws in Ha Noi yesterday, the first day that new jaywalking laws took effect.
Of those, nearly 30 pedestrians crossed roads at unmarked locations, over 70 crossed centre dividers, and two were carrying cumbersome objects while crossing the roads, according to the Ha Noi police.
Yet officials said it was difficult for the police to issue citations and fines, since most of the jaywalkers lived in nearby areas and were not carrying their identification cards.
"We mostly explained to the jaywalkers about their mistakes and reminded them not to repeat. However, we will stiffen punishments over time," said Captain Nguyen Minh Duc, deputy captain of the Ha Noi police office team 1.
"Everyone must carry their identification documents when going out. The police force will take those who do not carry necessary documents to the police office for an investigation of their identity," he added.
Some jaywalkers appeared confused when being stopped by the police, since they did not know that jaywalking laws were being enforced.
"I did not know that I would be fined for crossing the roads at inappropriate locations, so I was surprised when the police stated my mistake and issued a penalty," said Do Van Quynh, a jaywalker who received a fine of VND70,000 (US$3,14).
Trinh Dinh Hung, a resident living near Dai Co Viet flyover (Hai Ba Trung District), said that fining jaywalkers will help raise awareness among pedestrians.
"Many pedestrians cross the centre divider under the flyover, instead of walking on the marked path," he remarked. "They even cross roads during rush hour, when vehicles are waiting for traffic lights to turn green."
Starting February 1, traffic inspectors and police will issue traffic citations to pedestrians violating laws on major routes, traffic hubs and roads banning those who are walking.
Jaywalkers will be fined VND50,000 to VND120,000 (US$2 to $5), depending on the severity of the violations.
Further, the State agreed on January 29 that Vietnam Post would be responsible for accepting fines from, and returning personal documents to, traffic law violators, according to Nguyen Bac Son, Minister of Information and Communications. — VNS