Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The chairman of HCM City People’s Committee has asked all city districts to strengthen enforcement of traffic laws as the number of accidents and fatalities rose dramatically in the first seven months of the year.
Speaking at a meeting on Tuesday about the situation, Nguyễn Thành Phong said that city districts had yet to ensure traffic safety, which was their main task.
“As the head of traffic safety board in districts, do you (chairs of people’s committees) not see the seriousness of the problem? As many as 396 people have died due to traffic accidents in the first six months,” he said.
“ It is vital to have solutions right now,” he added.
District authorities were told to speed up construction of traffic works and repair of roads, which often causes.
“The city’s population has increased to 12 million, but traffic infrastructure has not developed well, leading to accidents and jams, one of the major problems in the city,” Phong said.
Phong approved the city’s Traffic Safety Board’s proposal to set up two teams including staff of relevant agencies for surveillance of traffic safety.
Communication on traffic safety issues will be broadcast on the city’s television channel.
More cameras will be installed at the city’s gateway districts where nearly 65 per cent of traffic accidents occur.
Accidents often occur in districts 2, 9, 12, Bình Tân, Thủ Đức, Hóc Môn, Củ Chi and Bình Chánh, many of which have narrow roads.
Nguyễn Ngọc Tường, deputy head of the city Traffic Safety Board, reported that more than 2,150 traffic accidents had occurred in the city the year’s first seven months, an increase of 79 cases compared to the same period last year.
The accidents killed 461 people, up 66 over the same period last year.
Illegal road and pavement encroachment also contributes to unsafe conditions, including the death of pedestrians.
Tường said that the public had a poor awareness of traffic laws, a major contributor to accidents.
In the first six months of the year, about 1,000 motorbikes and 100 cars were added to city streets.
The Ministry of Transport’s Circular No.91, which took effect on March 1, led to an increase of traffic accidents on many streets, especially highways.
The circular raised driving speed of 40 kilometres per hour to 60 kilometres per hour for motorbikes. For cars, it was raised to 80 kilometres per hour from 60 kilometres per hour.
“In a city with many vehicles and intersections, drivers find it difficult to keep a safe distance from vehicles that are now going faster,” Tường said.
For example, the number of traffic accidents on Võ Văn Kiệt Highway increased by 10 after the speed limit was raised.
He asked the committee to request permission from the government to adjust the speed limit. —VNS