Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Residents of Hà Nội’s Gia Lâm District are taking undue risks by jogging and exercising along Hà Nội-Thái Nguyên Highway, which runs through the district’s Ninh Hiệp Commune, reports the vietnamplus.vn.
People jump over the highway barriers and run and even ride bicycles on both sides of the highway during the early morning and late evening hours, despite the ban on motorbikes, non-motorised vehicles and pedestrians on the highway.
According to the report in vietnamplus.vn, in one hour, more than 30 people run through this section.
Runners told the newspaper that they prefer doing exercises on the wider and cleaner highway, known as New Highway No 3, rather than dusty, potholed village roads.
A resident who runs regularly on the highway said: “There are no signs that say pedestrians are banned. Most people jog and cycle early morning when there are not many vehicles on the road.”
Many locals also cross the highway and rest on the patch of grass on the median strip or sit on the barriers.
Nguyễn Văn Tuấn, a driver who uses the highway, said that by walking, running and cycling on the highway, locals are showing their ignorance of rules and risking not just their lives but also that of drivers using the highway.
The permitted speed on the highway is 100 km per hour, so drivers will not be able to stop in time if a pedestrian or cyclist suddenly crosses the road. The twilight hours are even more risky as visibility is low, Tuấn said.
Trần Đức Chiến, deputy director of factory No 2 under 238 Joint Stock Company, which operates and maintains Highway No 3, said the highway management board has been warning locals about the danger of using the highway for exercising. The unit has warned locals through announcements on loudspeakers, flyers and sessions on traffic safety, he said.
Vũ Xuân Bình, another deputy director of the factory, said that the unit is responsible for making people aware of the dangers, but it is the local authorities’ responsibility to punish offenders.
The Hà Nội-Thái Nguyên Highway spans 63km, running through Hà Nội, and Bắc Ninh and Thái Nguyên provinces. It opened to the public in early 2014, and has shortened the commute time between Hà Nội and Thái Nguyên from three hours to 80 minutes. — VNS