The “unreasonable” division of road space between motorbikes and cars is one of the major reasons for the rising number of accidents in Ho Chi Minh City in May, a senior police officer told Thanh Nien.
Major General Phan Anh Minh, deputy director of city police, said it is not right to push motorbikes into a single narrow lane as has been done on many streets, especially main ones.
“We did not carefully study the traffic flow. Motorbikes account for a large proportion (of vehicle numbers) but are being pushed into narrow lanes together with buses,” he said.
He was referring to an initiative by the city Transport Department under which around 40 kilometers of street dividers were placed on major streets like Truong Chinh, Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Nguyen Van Linh, and parts of National Highways 13 and 22.
Earlier, police officers were able to make use of other lanes to smooth traffic flows during rush hour.
“We have made our transport infrastructure unreasonable, and are now placing motorbikes under coercion, also unreasonably. It [the initative] is the reason for traffic accidents."
It is also forcing authorities to dispatch large numbers of traffic police officers to congested streets during rush hour, leaving other streets unpoliced and at risk of accidents, Minh said.
Statistics from the police department show that while accidents decreased considerably in the first quarter of this year – number of cases and deaths both down by more than 39 percent, and injuries down by nearly 57 percent year-on-year -- they rose again in May.
| HCMC lane dividers a total failure |
In fact, the number of accidents increased by a third over April to 75, the number of deaths and injuries by 31 percent and 57 percent.
However, Nguyen Ngoc Tuong, deputy chief of the HCMC Traffic Safety Agency, told Thanh Nien that the dividers do not increase accidents, but "cause congestion in some areas.”
Asked about the criticism of the new initiative, he said the People’s Committee would soon instruct the transport department to report on its efficiency at the next meeting held to discuss traffic.
Like us on Facebook and scroll down to share your comment