Traffic fines set to increase

Update: July, 05/2016 - 07:00
A coach picks up and drops off passengers on Nội Bài - Lào Cai Highway. Fines for traffic violations on highways will be increased on August 1 in an attempt to reduce traffic accidents. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Fines for traffic violations on highways will be increased in an attempt to reduce traffic accidents, transport experts said.

Under the new decree, starting August 1, the fines for violations by motorists, cyclists and even walkers will be four or five times higher than the current fines.

According to the Ministry of Transport, a lack of awareness about traffic safety and laws is the main reason for the high number of traffic accidents on highways.

In addition, motorists move barriers from their correct location so that they can drive on highways; local residents walk on highways; and buses and coaches do not always follow regulations when stopping to pick up passengers.

Motorists who drive on highways will be fined VNĐ500,000- 4 million (US$23-180), compared to the current fine of VNĐ200,000 - 400,000 ($9-18). In addition, violators will have their driving licences temporarily revoked for one to three months.

Cyclists who deliberately use highways will be fined VNĐ400,000 to VNĐ600,000 ($18-27), tripling the current fine.

Walkers will be fined VNĐ100,000 or VNĐ200,000 (($4.5 or $9) if they walk on highways, the decree stated.

Other violations such as parking or picking up and dropping off passengers on highways will be strictly punished with the highest fine of VNĐ6 million ($270).

Explaining the adjustment of fines, Hoàng Thế Tùng, deputy director of the Traffic Safety Department of the Ministry of Transport, said motorcyclists and cyclists pose dangers to themselves and other drivers when they use highways.

Therefore, the increase in fines would deter traffic violations, said Tùng.

Bùi Danh Liên, chairman of Hà Nội’s Transport Association, said that enacting stricter traffic enforcement on highways was necessary to increase people’s awareness of traffic safety and reduce accidents.

In recent years, traffic violations, especially on highways, have become more and more serious despite regular information campaigns, Liên said.

However, to help people comply with traffic rules, highways must be better designed, he said.

According to Liên, on many highways, at present, the distance between tunnels for walkers was too long. Furthermore, there are few, if any, passenger pick-up spots on many highways. This leads to violations because walkers are left with no other option.

Along with increasing fines, management agencies need to regularly patrol, detect and report any violations to local authorities, Tùng said. — VNS