Ha Noi sees heavy traffic congestion every year as the lunar new year looms. Col Nguyen Duy Ngoc, chief of the city's traffic police, spoke to the newspaper Kinh te & Do thi (Economy & City) about the problem.
Traffic always becomes more complicated and chaotic during the run up to the Tet holiday, which falls on next week this year. What measures will the department take to reduce traffic jams and accidents?
The Traffic Police Department has prepared plans for different situations to ensure traffic flows smoothly before and after the holidays. Apart from increasing patrols and mobilising police to separate vehicles into the correct lanes, the department has established groups to punish traffic violations and illegal parking.
Overcrowded coaches and buses will be fined, and enterprises that use unroadworthy vehicles will be forced to replace them or cease operations.
The department will work with the municipal Department of Transport to stop private vehicles from entering the city centre during peak hours to avoid congestion and minimise accidents.
The recent ban on taxis from ten busiest streets during peak hours has already shown positive results. Do you think that the ban should remain in place after Tet?
Director of the Transport Department Nguyen Quoc Hung and I have checked the implementation of the ban. Most taxis have adhered to the ban and the streets have been less crowded and more convenient.
However, local residents reported that some taxi drivers said they were transporting passengers to the hospital when they were caught entering restricted streets to avoid being fined. I hope that people obey the ban and stop colluding with taxi drivers because our efforts to regulate traffic flow would be useless without people's awareness.
I have instructed the police to strengthen inspections, and relevant authorities are discussing the implementation of the ban after the Tet holiday and will formulate a specific roadmap for certain routes at certain times.
Car registration tariffs have increased up to ten times in Ha Noi since the beginning of this year as a drastic measure to reduce private vehicles. Has it worked?
The Ha Noi Police Department has reported that car registration applications have fallen by over 90 per cent, and I think this is a good sign.
By implementing these measures, I believe traffic in Ha Noi will significantly improve this year, especially congestion on major streets and intersections. — VNS