HCM City gets serious about improving road safety

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The overpass at the Cát Lái Intersection in HCM City’s Thủ Đức city connecting with the Hà Nội Highway and under-construction metro line No. 1. — VNA/VNS Photo Trung Tuyến

HCM CITY — HCM City aims to reduce the number of road accidents and deaths and injuries by 5-10 per cent this year, its People’s Committee Chairman, Phan Văn Mãi, told a recent meeting.

“The transport sector plays a big role in the city’s COVID-19-pandemic response and socio-economic recovery plans.”

It developed quick, flexible and effective solutions to ensure smooth circulation of essential goods and transport of people, and pandemic prevention works to preclude the risk of supply-chain disruption, he said.

The city would give priority to transport infrastructure development in 2021-25, he promised.

Several key ongoing projects would be completed soon and work on many others was scheduled to begin by the end of this year.

The city also wanted to restart work on Ring Road No. 2 and begin Ring Road No. 3 this year.

It would continue to upgrade the smart traffic monitoring and operation centre, which would help identify congestion and reduces the need for traffic police officers on-site.

The centre staff could also operate traffic lights and notify the police in case of accidents.

The chief of office of the city Traffic Safety Committee, Nguyễn Vũ Hạnh Phúc, said transport infrastructure system and traffic safety would be improved.

The city still had four so-called black spots where accidents occurred regularly and 19 traffic jam sites, he said.

Last year the city recorded 1,784 traffic accidents, 477 deaths and 1,042 injuries, a big improvement from the previous year.

“This was the fifth consecutive year in which the city saw a drop in all three criteria,” Phúc said.

Traffic accidents decreased sharply last year partly thanks to four months of social distancing and travel restrictions due to the pandemic.

The Traffic Safety Committee has launched this year’s campaign with the theme ‘Building a safe traffic culture associated with effectively controlling COVID-19 pandemic.’

The campaign seeks to raise public awareness of traffic safety, reduce the number of accidents and victims, reduce traffic jams, improve management and control of safety, strengthen patrols and crack down on violations, and prevent the pandemic from spreading through transport activities. — VNS

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