HA NOI (VNS)— Ha Noi traffic police are targeting motorbike drivers that illegally travel along a new viaduct on the Ring Road 3.
The viaduct is designed for cars only, and these vehicles can travel at a maximum speed of 80kph on the route. However, many motorcyclists illegally use the route, which links the north Linh Dam peninsula with the Mai Dich area in Ha Noi.
The crackdown on motorcyclists comes after a collision between a car and a motorbike on the new route left one motorbike driver dead last Sunday night. The accident occurred less than 10 hours after the opening of the viaduct.
Nguyen Hoang Hiep, Vice Chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, said the accident was a result of the motorcyclist illegally driving over the viaduct.
Hiep said that during the first few days since the route was opened, police officers directed motorbike drivers to use another route, without handing out fines. But violations were so common that strict punishment was now required.
He said two teams would be set up at the beginning and the end of the viaduct on the Ring Road 3 to stop violators. The crackdown started yesterday.
On the Pham Hung-Khuat Duy Tien route that leads to the viaduct, many motorbikes still use the road regardless of traffic signs installed at the beginning of the viaduct.
A group of xe om (motorbike drivers) has been seen gathering at the viaduct to pick up passengers from buses and coaches. Some are even found driving against traffic, according to the VietnamPlus e-newspaper.
Nguyen Hoang Tuan, a xe om driver, said that he and other drivers have been parking their bikes at the viaduct for two days now to get customers from passing buses.
Tuan said he has seen many motorbikes at the viaduct, saying that traffic signs banning motorbikes from the route were too small.
Lieutenant-colonel Le Duc Tien of Traffic Police Unit 7 said his team worked at Pham Hung Street to guide all vehicles to use the correct traffic lanes, but some ignored the directions.
"It is very dangerous for motorbikes to go on," he said.
According to Hiep, the committee has required that traffic signs must be large and clearly visible to ensure drivers can see them.
The viaduct of Ring Road 3, the first of its kind and the most modern in Viet Nam, includes 385m of paths and more than 8.5km of bridges. It has a total investment of more than VND5.5 trillion (US$264 million), sourced from the Japanese Official Development Assistance and Vietnamese Government capital. — VNS