More public awareness needed as highway accidents increase
VietNamNet Bridge – Khuat Viet Hung, vice chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, recently spoke to the Thoi Bao Kinh Te (the Economic Times) newspaper about vehicle accidents on highways.
Why do you think the number of traffic accidents on the nation’s highways have been increasing since the beginning of 2016?
A lack of awareness about traffic safety and laws is the first reason for the high number of traffic accidents on highways. For instance, the legal distance between two vehicles is not always followed.
Also, a common reason for accidents is that drivers who travel at low speed have to remain in the right lane, but they do not, causing drivers moving at higher speeds to cross into oncoming traffic. So the risk of traffic accidents is very high. Also, many drivers are not in the habit of driving on highways, and the work conducted to raise the public’s awareness about traffic laws is not adequate.
Another reason is the poor management of the highways. Management agencies need to regularly patrol, detect and quickly report to local authorities in dealing with violations. Sometimes, motorists move barriers from the correct location to another so they might drive on highways, or local residents walk on Noi Bai-Lao Cai highway, while buses and coaches do not always follow regulations when stopping to pick up passengers.
Those officials who patrol highways must be responsible for preventing such violations.
And I want to emphasise that passengers have to use seatbelts on coaches, especially in sleeper cars.
Also, local agencies must carefully supervise highways, which still lack permanent separators.
The moving and destroying separators on the highways has been reported many times by local residents, but it is still happening. What is your solutions to handle these violations?
A camera system will be installed along the entire route to monitor such violations. Better management is the key to improving the situation. The local police and authorities have to carefully monitor the highways and will be responsible for cases of violating traffic regulations on the highways they manage.
Do you have more specific measures to deal with the increase of accidents on the highways?
The National Traffic Safety Committee has asked the media to increase the public’s awareness about traffic regulations on highways. Particularly, bicyclists and those walking are banned from using the highways. Also, drivers must abide by regulated distances and speeds on the highways.
The agencies that manage the use of the highways have to check and quickly complete their works on installing traffic signals.
We also ask management agencies and investors to promptly complete the remaining areas of the highways.
Inspection activities and the handling of violations will also be strengthened.