Traffic activism: bikes block bus encroaching opposite lane in Hanoi

By Ngoc Diep    January 19, 2019 | 05:08 pm PT
Several motorbike drivers refused to budge as a bus encroached the opposite lane in downtown Hanoi, a video shows.

The incident recently occurred at an intersection in Hoan Kiem District.

Near the intersection of Le Duan, Hai Ba Trung and Nguyen Khuyen streets, a public bus (29B-509.97) completely encroached into the opposite lane. This is not an uncommon occurrence on Vietnamese roads, but this time, some motorbike drivers decided they would not give way.

The incident was recorded by Nguyen Minh Quang at 6:30 p.m. on January 2.

Quang, a local resident, said: "I live here and often see buses deliberately encroach the opposite lane since they think they have some priority. This is the first time drivers on the right lane reacted against it, so I recorded the scene."

Traffic police arrived and talked to the bus driver, but they could not solve the problem. The motorcycle riders told police they would keep blocking the bus, if the driver did not apologize.

"Only after a man in a black shirt said something to the driver, did the bus pull back from three motorbikes standing in front of it, " said Quang.

In Vietnam, buses are not categorized as prioritized vehicles. Traffic violations by bus drivers face similar administrative sanctions as other vehicles. Specifically, the bus driver could be fined VND300,000-400,000 ($12.94- 17.25) for driving in the wrong lanes. In addition, the driver can also have his or her license confiscated for one to three months.

On average, one person dies every hour in a road accident in Vietnam. The country is attempting to lower road traffic fatalities to fewer than 20 cases per day, or 7,300 per year.

Traffic congestion, inadequate law enforcement, poor driving and bad street conditions are typically cited as the main causes of fatal road accidents.

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