HA NOI — Traffic violators who physically oppose traffic police should be punished with higher fines and even charged with attempted murder, said Major General Tran Thuy, deputy head of the Ha Noi Police Department.
|Traffic policeman Nguyen Manh Phan clings to the front of a 39-seat coach as the driver attempts to flee after breaking traffic rules in Ba Vi District in April. — File Photo
On July 17, two traffic rule-breakers hit and choked Nguyen Hong Quan, a member of Traffic Police Team No 4, on Giai Phong Street.
Another traffic policeman was taken to a local hospital in March after Vu Le Hoang, 29, crashed into him on his motorbike at the Truong Chinh-Giai Phong intersection.
In April, after traffic police Nguyen Manh Phan, asked Phung Hong Phuong, 34, to pull over for driving in the wrong lane, he instead sped off with the policeman clinging to the vehicle. Phuong remained in police custody for two months.
Nearly 20 such incidents took place in 2012 alone, according to figures released by the city People's Committee and the National Assembly's Law Committee. From 2009 to 2011, these crimes occurred 132 times.
The fine for traffic rule breakers who oppose police on duty is now only VND4 million (US$192). Thuy said that this amount may be insufficient to deter violators from attacking policemen.
Even street vendors who operate without a license have to pay a larger fine – VND20-30 million ($961-1,440), he said.
Nguyen Viet Cuong, a Ha Noi resident, said he thinks that traffic police on duty could do their part to avoid such conflicts by staying polite and calm during their interactions with violators.
Senior Lieutenant Colonel Dao Vinh Thang, deputy head of Traffic Police Office, said that installing traffic cameras and other technological devices will also help these interactions run more smoothly. The Government has been submitted to allow traffic police to fine violators on the spot instead of going through complicated administrative procedures, he said.
At present, people only have to pay a maximum fine of VND1.4 million ($67) for breaking traffic rules.
In response to the situation, vice chairman of the city People's Committee Nguyen Van Khoi said that the city has planned to build a centre to direct traffic and install 200 cameras throughout each district.
The city has submitted to the Government to modify Decree 34 to raise fines for traffic violations and allow traffic police to seize the license plates of car owners who break traffic rules.
Nguyen Xuan Tan, deputy director of the city Transport Department, said that since 2009, the police have dealt with over 2.7 million traffic rule violations, confiscated a total fine of VND559 billion ($26.8 million) and seized over 91,000 vehicles. — VNS