|HCM City aims to reduce railway accidents with new safety measures. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết|
HCM CITY — A train hit a container truck at the intersection of the railway and Lý Thường Kiệt Street on Thursday in Bình Dương Province’s Dĩ An City, and earlier this year, in May, a man died after being hit by a train in HCM City Thủ Đức District.
These accidents have added to the growing concern about illegal encroachments on the railway safety corridor and deliberate crossings over barriers, as well as an increase in accidents.
Many houses and ancillary works, for instance, are located near the railway in certain areas in Thủ Đức District in HCM City.
The city's ban on encroachment, construction, littering, planting of trees and storing of materials on the railway safety corridor has been ineffective.
In Kha Vạn Cân Street in Thủ Đức District, the railway corridor is deteriorating, and rubbish is thrown near the railway.
Elsewhere, people living on Mai Văn Ngọc Street in Phú Nhuận District’s Ward 10 and other streets in Gò Vấp District’s Ward 1 have committed violations on the railway corridor.
The National Traffic Safety Committee said that railway accidents caused by opening of illegal crossings in crowded residential areas accounted for 40 per cent of the total number of railway accidents. Forty-four per cent of the accidents are caused by people walking or sitting on railway tracks.
HCM City has 24 crossroad barriers to prevent illegal crossings, but the risk of accidents remains.
Võ Khánh Hưng, deputy head of the city Department of Transport, told Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper that strict fines are needed for violators who damage railway infrastructure and open illegal crossings.
The city People’s Committee has instructed police to impose strict fines and check for violators through images from surveillance cameras installed on streets.
The committee has also told authorities in districts 3, Phú Nhuận, Bình Thạnh, Gò Vấp and Thủ Đức to strengthen protection of traffic safety corridors and close illegal crossings by the year end.
In the 2021-2025 period, the Bình Triệu-Hòa Hưng overhead railway will be built, which will reduce the number of railway crossings in the inner city.
The Việt Nam Railway Corporation and other agencies will also check fences to protect railway corridors in the city. If fences are broken, they will be repaired. Other railway infrastructure and traffic signs also will be checked.
The city plans to strengthen communication to improve people’s awareness about regulations related to railway safety, and it aims to reduce railway accidents by 5 per cent to 10 per cent annually. — VNS