return icon

70-year-old woman acts as school crossing supervisor for free

Regardless of the weather, twice a day, Mrs. Hai Tri stands by the signboard in the middle of the crowded lane to help students get home safely from school.


The human 'mobile sign'

The scorching, suffocating and dusty summer road of Hung Nhon (Hamlet 3, Tan Kien Commune, Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City) at 11pm does not keep Ms. Nguyen Thi Bach Phuong (Ms. Hai Tri, 62) from going out to offer students of Tan Kien Secondary School support as they struggle to cross the crowded roads.

Grabbing her conical leaf hat, she rushes out onto the noisy lanes jam- packed with vehicles holding a sign: “Please stop for a second and let students cross the street". Whenever a large car approaches with no intention of slowing down, she points the board towards it to ask for giving roads. When she notices that the two lines of cars has slowed down, she graciously leads the students across until they are safe, she then motions for the drivers to move normally.

Year after year, Ms. Hai Tri has become a "mobile traffic sign" to help students cross the street safely.

Bà U70 cầm biển giúp học sinh qua đường giữa nắng gắt Sài Gòn

The small road from Tan Kien Secondary School to Hung Nhon Street. After school, students have to stand here for a long time trying to cross the road.


What she’s doing is of her own accord and comes from her love for the children. Her house is opposite the road from Tan Kien Secondary School leading to Hung Nhon Street.

She said: “One day, I saw the children standing on the other side of the street for a very long time looking at each other and not daring to pass. This road is quite narrow with 2-way traffic. At noon, there are more cars, trucks, and containers, so it is dangerous with no traffic signs.”

Some of them even pleaded for help so she ran out to them. After that day Mrs. Hai Tri wondered how to assist these kids with road crossing. She soon decided to take a pen and scribble on a cardboard, then waited every day for students to finish school, holding a doodle board in the middle of the traffic lane, leading the students through. In fear of what was written on the board as too small to be seen by the drivers, she even tried to bold the text with a felt pen.

Offering help, even without money

Bà U70 cầm biển giúp học sinh qua đường giữa nắng gắt Sài Gòn

To help students cross the street safely, Mrs. Hai Tri hang a cardboard which writes: "Stop for students to cross the road". Later, the parent of a student presented her a professionally-design signboard.


The students now feel more secure when crossing the street. Parents are no longer worried about their children being in traffic jams after class.

Seeing that the children were more confident and bravely crossed the street, Mrs. Hai Tri didn't think there was any need to hold a traffic control sign anymore. But one day, the students, after crossing the street, came to her again and asked: “Grandma, why haven't you been holding the signboard to lead us across the street for several days? I'm afraid of cars."

Mrs. Hai Tri said: “I was deeply moved by that. For now, I think I will do it all the time as the children are used to having me ask for help. If they do not see me, they will look forward to it and dare not pass.

“I don’t see myself as much help for them. It’s only a little time and effort but the children are safe and happy. People have money, they go to charity. I don't, so I devote my effort and love and time,” she added.

Bà U70 cầm biển giúp học sinh qua đường giữa nắng gắt Sài Gòn

After school, she holds the board on the street to regulate traffic, helping children cross the street safely.

While some view her as a weirdo doing a "strange thing" or laugh at how she’s not minding her own business, a great many others highly appreciate what she’s doing for the children.

“I got laughed at a lot but also loved and cheered. Many parents see me, nod and say thank you. There was a parent named Tam who often picked up his children, saw me holding a handwritten cardboard board, and gifted me a more professional and beautiful sign. I offered some money back but he refused to take it, saying that he just wanted to pay it forward,” said Mrs. Hai Tri.

However, being kind is not always easy. There have been countless times she was shouted at and scolded for standing in the middle of the road by reckless drivers who refused to slow down.

Bà U70 cầm biển giúp học sinh qua đường giữa nắng gắt Sài Gòn



Bà U70 cầm biển giúp học sinh qua đường giữa nắng gắt Sài Gòn


“It does take my breath away standing between two lanes of vehicles. I have no right to stop anyone's car. I just want to kindly ask them to speed down a bit so the students can cross the street, and then they can keep moving,” she said.

“The traffic in this section is quite complicated. After school, students and parents at two primary and secondary schools in Tan Kien commune pour in a lot. This road has no signs or traffic lights, so it is very dangerous.

One parent said: "I could not rest my mind if it’s not for the signboard and Ms. Hai Tri helping my child cross the street. We hope that the authorities do some research and arrange the traffic lights here to make the traffic circulation safer and easier."

Nguyen Son

82-year-old woman retires from running bridge toll-collection in Thai Nguyen

82-year-old woman retires from running bridge toll-collection in Thai Nguyen

On April 1, Dat Ma, a cable-stay bridge in the northern province of Thai Nguyen, was opened to traffic for free after 15 years of toll collection.



Authority maintains tough stance on safety violations on Hanoi’s “railway café street”

The Vietnam Railway Authority has insisted that it will take a hard line on railway traffic safety violations along Hanoi’s popular "railway café street" sketching across the inner districts in its recent report to the Ministry of Transport.

Foreign hi-tech firms expand investment in Vietnamese market

Molex, the world’s leading supplier of connectors and interconnect components, has unveiled its ambitions to expand its existing manufacturing plant in the Vietnamese market by developing its plant in Hanoi.


Hai Phong lures more than 1.24 billion USD in first nine months

Vietnam rakes in US$16.05 billion from tourism in nine months

Vietnam earned some 394.2 trillion VND (16.05 billion USD) from tourism in the first nine months of this year, equivalent to 78% of the figure recorded in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.


Vietnam invests in 10 energy technologies

Vietnamese poetry collection published in Canada

A poetry collection from five female translators based in Hanoi, entitled Ngũ Sắc Ánh Sáng (5 Sights of Light), has been introduced to Canadian readers by Ukiyoto Publishing.

Multi-billion thermal power project needs more capital

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has asked for ministries' opinions on solutions to problems related to the balance sheet of the Vung Ang 1 thermal-power plant.

The best September photos on VietNamNet

Hot air balloons with the Vietnamese national flag of 1,800m2 on the banks of the Saigon River, Typhoon Noru making landfall in Quang Nam Province, the roofs of many houses being blown away...

BSR to expand Dung Quat Oil Refinery

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has asked Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical JSC (BSR) to clarify some issues related to its project on expanding Dung Quat Oil Refinery.

Dutch conductor to lead concert at Opera House

Conductor Leon Bosch from the Netherlands will lead a concert featuring masterpieces by European composers at the HCM City Opera House on Saturday, October 8.

‘578’ to represent Vietnam at Oscars

An action film starring Miss Universe Vietnam 2018, H'hen Niê, 578: Phát Đạn Của Kẻ Điên (578: Magnum), has been selected as Vietnamese representative at the 95th Oscars, 2023.

USD surges to VND24,000, US$1.7 billion withdrawn from circulation

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) withdrew nearly VND41 trillion ($1.7 billion) through open market operations as the US dollar rose to over VND24,000 on September 26-30, 2022.

HCM City to build a series of new traffic projects

HCM City is speeding up procedures to start the construction of key traffic works at gateways by the end of the year, according to HCM City's Department of Transport.

Burning garbage in Hanoi threatens residents' health, property

There have been consecutive fires caused by people's poor awareness, who were burning garbage and straw in residential areas, causing fires recently in Hanoi.

New cargo airline still waiting for license

After the Prime Minister agrees on the establishment of IPP Air Cargo, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) will implement procedures to grant a license to the air carrier, according to MOT Deputy Minister Le Dinh Tho.