drivers fail to heed traffic safety month
|A traffic jam on Doi Can
Street in Ha Noi. Traffic police say jams have increased in the country’s
two major cities since the first week of September. — VNA/VNS Photo
HA NOI — September is
Viet Nam’s traffic safety month but preliminary figures show that the message
has fallen on deaf ears, especially in Ha Noi and HCM City.
Hospitals report no fall
in the number of traffic deaths and injuries although complete statistics are
not yet available.
And traffic police say
jams have increased in the country’s two major cities since the first week of
Early figures show that
987 people were killed and 746 suffered serious and minor injures in more than
1,000 road accidents during August.
The numbers offer a
glimmer of hope because they were slightly less than from the same month of last
In Ha Noi, major routes
have been gripped in gridlock since September 1 – the beginning of the second
month since Government Resolution 32 introduced a series of measures intended to
curb the carnage.
Resident Le Thanh Hung
complained that he spent almost three hours on Wednesday, September 5 and
Monday, September 10, travelling the 12 km to his home in the southern Thanh
Xuan District from his office in the central Hoan Kiem District.
"All the major roads
to my home were blocked by cars and motorbikes," he said adding that the
traffic jams had prevented him from collecting his son after school.
Hung managed to escape a
major jam between Pham Ngoc Thach and Chua Boc streets but was halted in a
narrower street because many others had chosen the same route.
"I saw a few traffic
policemen but with so many vehicles and people they could do nothing," he
He was used to regular
jams but not the snarl of those particular two days.
Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung has instructed all ministries,
government agencies, provincial administrations and the National Traffic
Safety Committee to immediately activate traffic-safety measures.
Their job is to have the public understand the urgent measures of
Government Resolution 32 effective from last month, he says in a letter
sent last Friday.
This is to be done through outdoor advertisements, brochures, leaflets
and slogans to warn that safety helmets will be compulsory for all
motorbike riders and their passengers from December.
Government officials, public servants and Viet Nam Communist Party
members in all government offices are required to set an example.
The Deputy Prime Minister asks the Public Security Ministry to increase
patrols and inspections with the focus on speed, overloads, underage
riders and drivers and unregistered transport vehicles.
Hung has instructed the Ministry of Education and Training, which has
responsibility for about 22 million students, to focus on encouraging
high school, college and university students to obey the traffic laws
and practise traffic safety.
Appropriate ministries are responsible for the quality of safety helmets
and the National Traffic Safety Committee has oversight and review of
Also on Friday, National Traffic Safety Committee chairman Ho Nghia Dung
said eight working groups had been formed to start a massive inspection
programme for implementation of Resolution 32.
The committee would first ask riders and passengers to wear helmets and
then check on passenger transport including bus and boat.
Other issues such as traffic-law education; the checking of licence
procedure and publicity campaigns would follow.— VNS
Ha Noi Public Security
Department director Nguyen Duc Nhanh offered several explanations for the
School had resumed and
parents had to deliver and collect their children about the same time as
officials and workers started or finished their day.
Heavy rain had caused
floods and detours.
The easing of rules for
the registration of new vehicles earlier in the year had prompted a rapid
increase in the number of new motorbikes and cars on the city’s roads.
The city now had more than
2 million motorbikes and 200,000 cars and the new registration rules meant the
numbers were unlikely to fall soon, Nhanh said.
The city also had many
roads under construction with work way behind schedule.
Nhanh said measures to
control the traffic chaos had included the doubling of registration fees for
second vehicles; increased penalties for traffic violations and more and regular
More patrols would force
people to honour traffic laws that were usually ignored when drivers and riders
thought they could avoid doing so.
The city administrators
had proposed staggered hours for all workers and students but it was not known
when the new system would be introduced.
Similar jams are happening
in HCM City where on many roads people can walk faster than those travelling by
The Transport and Public
Works Department reports that rush-hour traffic averages 3kph compared with
The HCM City People’s
Committee says transport infrastructure is overburdened from an increasing
number of vehicles and by the number of immigrants who arrive each month to look
Road Traffic Police say
280,000 motorbikes and 20,000 cars were registered in the first eight months of
this year taking the number of vehicles travelling the city’s roads to 3.5
Road building, or
widening, including work on the drainage system, has contributed to the traffic
Yearly financial losses
from traffic jams will continue to grow, warns the dean of the HCM City
University of Technology’s Transportation Technology Department, Pham Xuan
The prevailing yearly
estimate was VND14,000 billion, about US$875 million, represented by lost time
at work, medical costs due to pollution, and loss of profits.
Many city businesses say
they lose money because of traffic bottlenecks.
"Motorbikes using the
pavement in front of our shop prevent us from doing business in a normal
way," said a clothing-shop owner on Nguyen Kiem Street, Go Vap District.
City officials say that
more money has had to be spent to hire extra traffic police and volunteer youth
who act as traffic wardens at street intersections.
Traffic Police commander
Senior Lieutenant Colonel Pham Van Thinh says 500 volunteers will be assigned to
city streets to control traffic because there are not enough police.
The policeman suggests
that the People’s Committee reduces traffic jams by staggering working hours.
But traffic jams will
continue at least until the subway is finished.
The work is scheduled for
completion by 2020.
HCM City uses more
waterborne transport than anywhere else in Viet Nam and a campaign to stiffen
the regulations – punish violations and provide ferry passengers with safety
gear – started this week.
The Transport Ministry’s
Waterways Department director Tran Dac Suu, says the campaign is aimed at the
promotion of positive changes among waterway commuters
About 70 per cent of the
city’s goods are carried by water making it necessary to improve
traffic-safety awareness among commuters, boat owners and crew.
The city has more than 200
landings, including overload jetties that berth a high density of cargo vessels,
small boats and tourist craft.
The city’s water police
and inspectors have toured the city’s docks and major waterways encouraging
people to follow the safety regulations for themselves; their passengers and
Water police also
inspected water craft for safety equipment and ownership registration in Vinh
The province has more than
1,700km of waterways.
Its water police saythat
although there were no serious accidents during the first eight months of this
year, the possibility is high if safety regulations are ignored.
Patrols were also
increased and the need for safety emphasised in central Nghe An where 19
students died in an accident on the water while going to school at this time
last year. — VNS