Viet Nam News
Last week, Việt Nam News asked readers if the fine which is about to be imposed August 1 on those running yellow traffic lights would lead to improved compliance with traffic laws. The yellow light will still act as a signal that the traffic light is about to turn red, but drivers will no longer be allowed to run through it. We also asked our readers whether it is appropriate for police officers to kick bikers who violate traffic laws, as recently happened in Hà Nội. Here are some of the comments:
Justin Piatt, American, HCM City
I totally agree with the new law. It can help prevent people from running red and yellow lights. It also can create a safer travelling environment. The new law should be applied as soon as possible. It can also raise people’s awareness about how important it is to follow traffic lights.
I suggest that they keep the same fine for running a yellow light, but double the fine for running a red light. There is no point in having the same fines for yellow and red lights.
Ong Din Han, Malaysian, HCM City
Many drivers are running red lights now. I don’t see how this new move will help enhance traffic obedience. Unless CCTV cameras are installed, which would photograph violators and their vehicles (and a summons then mailed to their homes), some drivers will still run yellow lights, just as they do with red lights.
In the end, until drivers put the safety of themselves and others first, having more laws will not help much. Traffic law violations are not unique to Việt Nam. It is an issue everywhere. Some people will violate traffic rules, regardless.
Anyway, before we jump to conclusions and say this is another useless law, I think it is wise for us to see how the law will be enforced. I hope that it can help modify drivers’ behaviour.
In the long term, better solutions are needed, instead of just introducing more laws.
Hopefully, with the rapid development in technology such as IoT (Internet of Things), traffic laws can be enforced automatically with the deployment of sensors, cameras and other technology. There would then be no escape when the law is broken. When that day comes, I’m fairly certain everyone will behave accordingly.
Andrew Burden, Canadian, Hà Nội
Black is black, white is white. Now a yellow traffic signal equals red. Do I understand correctly? Police officers can go all “Rambo” and kick motorbike riders doing bad things?
What about cracking down on so-called professional drivers in taxis, delivery trucks, overloaded water delivery motorbikes and ambulances that drive continuously with emergency lights flashing and sirens blaring? No one gets out of their way anyway.
As soon as Hà Nội and Việt Nam (and Thailand, worst accident statistics in the world) takes safety seriously, so will I. Stop all motorbikes without mirrors or with broken mirrors or mirrors pointing to the sky. Do not let more than two people on any bike. All children must be seated, behind, and preferably tied with a belt.
Stop jaywalkers; stop teenagers on electric bikes - lazy punks! No more white-haired grandpa and grandma wandering across lanes on rusty bicycles without looking or signalling. No more U-turns, no tattoo-gangsters holding a cigarette out the open left window. No more street sweeper carts during rush hour and no more nón lá-hat sellers pushing overloaded carts full of shoes and clothes and stuff across four-lane traffic.
I appreciate having a semblance of safety and government wanting to improve things, but let’s get real. Remove all traffic police for 24 hours. I predict a smooth ride. Let us little people work it out ourselves.
Dale Gerstenslager, American, Đà Nẵng
From my perspective: Yes yellow light runners should be fined. A little pinch to the pocketbook will make it painful for the ones who don’t comply and safer for all. The inability to have confidence that an intersection will be clear means traffic is impeded constantly and impacts everyone, commerce and congestion. All traffic rules need to be followed by all, at all times, by everybody if today’s traffic volumes are to be efficiently and safely managed.
As to the officer kicking the rider, if he/she was running away and resisting arrest, then the officer should be allowed to use reasonable force to arrest them and they should forfeit their bike and licence.
Ivan Shoshkov, Bulgarian, Hà Nội
In many countries running a yellow light is okay in case your speed is too high and stopping can be a threat to traffic behind you. But starting to ride on yellow should be punished.
There is a police code that should be followed. Violence shouldn’t be used unless it will prevent further damage to people’s health and property.
Gerrit Morren, Dutch
As we all know, the traffic in Việt Nam is chaotic and getting worse everyday. There are so many accidents that could be avoided.
To change this for the better there should be a traffic police force that’s allowed to handle this the tough way. Also, there should be regular police control at the well-known high frequency traffic hot spots. If there is a serious threat of getting a fine when driving dangerously, traffic violators will start to behave.
I hope it comes to this one day.
Thu Huyền, Vietnamese, Hà Nội
I strongly support this new policy, which I believe will remarkably improve the behaviour of vehicle users. When the traffic light turns yellow, obviously almost nobody is willing to stop. People keep driving while at the same time, people coming from other directions can’t wait patiently for the green light and start moving 3 or 4 seconds before the light actually turns green. Everyone wants to get through first, and this causes chaos in the middle of the intersections, which worsens traffic jams. I’ve experienced this almost every day in Hà Nội. And I do believe in order for the city’s traffic to be less terrible, a harsher punishment will do.
Neator José Pereira Guimaraes, Brazilian
This new law about fining yellow light runners is a great idea. Enforcing it will save many lives. Go ahead ! An example for the whole world. — VNS