Illegal traffic signaling affects road users everyday. – VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng
HÀ NỘI – Slack regulation of the use of priority traffic horns and lights recently in Hà Nội is giving residents a headache.
Numerous kinds of lights and horns are being sold widely in markets, many of which imitate emergency vehicles. People can buy these lights or horns from VNĐ500,000 to VNĐ3 million (US$22.4-$134.6).
People are using these illegal devices to take priority in traffic at intersections and during rush hour.
On narrow roads or areas with construction work, citizen vehicles with these priority lights and horns are using them to get ahead of the normal traffic.
Often road users let vehicles using such emergency devices pass, thinking they are an ambulance, fire-engine or police vehicle.
Many taxis and motor tricycles are illegally equipped with illegal horns to allow them to drive faster through busy traffic.
Some cars have been equipped with light signals and horns that emulate police cars.
Road users are getting very annoyed, but don’t know who to complaint to.
“I always let vehicles with priority lights and horns pass, but sometimes I do not recognise which are legal vehicles because they are always behind me,” said Nguyễn Hải Anh, a road user.
“Sometimes, the horn makes me start and quickly move out of the way. It risks causing a traffic accident,” he added.
It is easy to buy these priority traffic devices in Hà Nội’s Hoàng Hoa Thám, Thịnh Yên, and Huế streets, or at giời (open air) markets.
Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper reported that an online trader living in the northern province of Bắc Ninh has sold these products for many years and supplies Hà Nội and other northern provinces.
He has set up a webpage to advertise his goods to customers, the newspaper said.
He told the newspaper that he has three sets of emergency-type lights that sell best, costing from VNĐ400,000-VNĐ1.2 million each (US$17.9-$53.8).
All of the products are imported from China. The customer can get a discount for bulk orders, and each product is guaranteed for at least three months after purchase, he said.
Lê Mạnh Dũng, a taxi driver, said that authorities should strictly punish those caught using these priority vehicle equipment illegally.
Nguyễn Xuân Ngọc, an official from the Hà Nội Market Management Department, told the newspaper that these products are managed by the police.
While lawyer, Phan Thị Lam Hồng, head of Đông Hà Nội Law Ltd, said the Market Management Department is responsible for the management of these products.
Col Đào Vịnh Thắng, head of the Traffic Police Office under Hà Nội Police, said the police have seized many such illegal devices and dealt with violators strictly.
The relevant agencies should join hands with the police to tackle the use of illegal priority vehicle devices and manage the import, production and sale of these products, Thắng said.
According to road traffic law, each illegal use of emergency vehicle equipment can be fined VND600,000-800,000 (US$26.6-35.5). — VNS