Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội-Bắc Giang Highway, which opened one year ago, is expected to witness a reduction in traffic congestion and accidents between Hà Nội, northern Bắc Ninh and Bắc Giang provinces. However, several shortcomings reported on the highway have caused annoyance to residents and drivers.
According to a report by the Pháp Luật Việt Nam (Việt Nam Law) newspaper, although lamp posts are installed on the highway, most of them are not switched in the evenings, forcing drivers to travel in the dark.
This may be one of the reasons for the many accidents occurring on the highway, the newspaper reported. Cars which travel a high speed of 80 to 100km per hour are more likely to have accidents when travelling on a dimly-lit road.
A taxi driver said “I never dare to drive at a speed of 80km per hour on the highway when it gets dark. Without high tension lamp poles, we cannot see anything when a vehicle from the opposite direction flashes its headlights.”
A vendor on the roadside said “Accidents usually happen at night, mostly because speeding cars cannot see when it is dark”.
Nguyễn Xuân Hưng, deputy head of the Highway Management Department under the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam, told the media since the highway was put into operation in January last year, there have been 95 accidents, leaving 12 dead and injuring 12.
Despite warning signs, many coaches reportedly stopped to pick and drop passengers on the highway section through Phù Đổng bridge in Gia Lâm District of Hà Nội or under flyovers at the crossroads of Hà Nội-Bắc Giang highway and highways No 37 and 38.
An incomplete system of frontage roads, underbridges and broken guardrails, along with limited awareness of residents and drivers are also to blame, Hưng said.
Đào Nguyên Quý, chief of the secretariat of the traffic safety committee of Bắc Giang Province, said authorised agencies must impose strict penalties on coaches parked illegally on the highway. The highway management unit should soon finish frontage roads to facilitate residents’ travel.
The 46km Hà Nội-Bắc Giang Expressway was built under a build-operate-transfer model for a total investment of VNĐ4.2 trillion (US$197.4 million). The highway has a speed limit of 100kph. — VNS