The People’s Council of Ho Chi Minh City held a meeting on March 1 under the theme ‘Traffic safety’ aimed at reviewing and revising the present traffic irregularities in HCMC.
In order to discourage illegal bike racing, the City wants to impose a tough penalty on the bike racers by confiscating their vehicles on the spot, even those who are first time offenders.
|Tran Quang Phuong, director of the city’s Transport Department answered questions at the meeting of the People’s Council of Ho Chi Minh City|
The City People’s Council Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam chaired the meeting, which pointed out that the city now has about 5.6 million personal vehicles, including 5 million motorbikes, as accounted for in January 2012.
In 2011, the city saw an increase by 13 per cent, totaling 637,000 vehicles, according to the City Road Traffic Infrastructure Department.
Such an increase has worsened road traffic in the city and caused more traffic jams, especially during rush hour, the department said.
After a useful discussion, the plan to implement ‘Year of Traffic Safety 2012’ was submitted by HCMC Committee Vice Chairman Nguyen Huu Tin and approved by all deputies. Later the council issued a resolution on tougher measures to deal with illegal racing.
Accordingly, the HCMC People’s Committee will ask the National Assembly and the Government for permission to have a trial run at seizing motorbikes from the racers.
While waiting for the decision of the National Assembly and the Government, the city will raise the fees for temporarily holding vehicles of racers from VND6,000 to VND500,000 ($25) per day. This will take effect as of March 11.
HCMC People’s Council Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam told reporters after the meeting that she had requested the city’s Transport Department to provide information concerning construction projects of car and motorbike parking areas.
The HCMC People’s Committee also proposed that the National Assembly and Government allow it to set up a plan to levy a traffic fee on users of personal vehicles, so as to limit personal vehicles to ease congestion.
Huynh Dang Linh, Vice Chairman of the HCMC fatherland Committee said that he supported the proposal by the city People’s Committee, the National Assembly and the Government to allow it to set up a plan to levy a heavy traffic fee on users of personal vehicles to ease congestion.
His point of view also got consent of HCMC People’s Council deputy Tran Van Thien.
At the meeting the HCMC People’s Council also approved the “Year of Traffic Safety 2012” plan.
In an attempt to discourage illegal bike racers, Ho Chi Minh City wants to impose a tough penalty on them, by confiscating vehicles immediately, even those of first time offenders.
|The plan to implement ‘Year of Traffic Safety 2012’ submitted by HCMC Committee Vice Chairman Nguyen Huu Tin approved by all deputies|
The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee said it would ask that the National Assembly’s Standing Committee and Government to permit such confiscation.
The proposal was supported by a resolution of the city People’s Council at its meeting yesterday where they discussed measures to improve the traffic safety in the city in 2012.
The resolution was passed with 100 percent votes from the delegates, who unanimously agreed that the heavy penalty should be imposed on those who committed one of the following nine serious traffic violations.
These violations include: riding motorbikes parallel with three or more vehicles; sounding the horn continuously while riding at top speed in crowded areas; riding in groups causing hindrance to other vehicles; riding while dragging a foot or two feet or anything else on the ground; riding without holding the handlebars; changing riders while riding; deliberately running in a zigzag manner; riding with only one wheel (for 2-wheel vehicles) or two wheels (for 3-wheel vehicles) on the ground; and riding in groups of at least two vehicles at high speed.
While waiting for the NA and Government approval of the confiscation of illegal racing vehicles, the city People’s Council also passed a resolution to agree to the People’s Committee’s decision to raise the storage fee for detained racing vehicles to VND500,000 ($24) per vehicle per day, about 83 times higher than the current rate of VND6,000.
The decision will take effect on March 11, 2012.
Talking with Sai Gon Giai Phong, Tran Quang Phuong, director of the city’s Transport Department, said the People’s Council resolution on raising the fee was within authority and would not face any legal trouble.
All those attending the meeting agreed that such heavy penalties were necessary to discourage illegal racers and other violators of traffic rules. They hoped that these measures will improve traffic safety and reduce traffic accidents, which last year killed 842 people and injured 461 others, as reported by the city authorities.
Speaking to the press on the sidelines of the meeting, deputy director of the city Police Department, Colonel Ngo Minh Chau, said that if the National Assembly and the Government allow HCMC to confiscate vehicles of racers, the city should just destroy these vehicles.
“This will make an important impact on public opinion, especially racers,” Chau said.
He added that until year end, the traffic police will increase by more than 1,000 policemen and that the high fees for temporarily holding vehicles of racers will be valid until the Government permits the city to seize vehicles of racers.
The police officer emphasized the need to prosecute illegal racers. On February 28, the People’s Court of Binh Thanh District tried four illegal racers and the highest sentence was nine months in jail.