Container trucks, cars leave motorbike riders insecure in northern Vietnam

By Giang Chinh   January 6, 2019 | 01:30 pm GMT+7

Motorbikes are being squeezed into insecurity by container trucks and cars encroaching into their lanes in Hai Phong City.

Container trucks, cars leave motorbike riders insecure in northern Vietnam

Thousands of container trucks come to Hai Phong Port in the eponymous city (2 hours east from Hanoi) every day, and pass through many inner city roads.

At the end of the National Highway 5 through Hai Phong City (Nguyen Van Linh and Nguyen Binh Khiem streets), there is frequent and prolonged congestion, adding significantly to traffic risk, felt most acutely by the smallest vehicle on the road, the motorbike.

"Every time I drive on this route, I get scared when I have to go next to a line of container trucks," said a local resident.

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Container trucks and cars freely encroach on all lanes, filling up two to three columns on the entire street that stretches for about 15km from the Hai Phong Port to Hanoi. It leaves the smaller vehicles with very little space.

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In the afternoons, the route between Hanoi and Hai Phong port is frequently congested with a variety of vehicles – and it is invariably the smallest ones that are shoved aside by the bigger ones encroaching into their lanes.

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Motorbikes are frequently squeezed out by bigger vehicles on Nguyen Van Linh Street, Hai Phong City.

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Last Friday afternoon, Lieutenant Colonel Le Quang Hiep, deputy chief of the Traffic Police Department in Hai Phong, said many officials and soldiers of No.1 and 4 teams have to mobilize 100 percent of their staff and be on duty all day and night on the road to regulate the traffic. Nevertheless, the congestion is not relieved.

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According to Lieutenant Colonel Le Anh Son, No.4 Team Captain of Hai Phong Traffic Police Department, the traffic congestion situation has become serious recently, partly because truck drivers are pressured by cargo delivery time, so they tend to drive recklessly.

Many drivers park their vehicles and occupy lanes reserved for motorbikes and other smaller vehicles. This situation can be seen often on Nguyen Binh Khiem, Le Thanh Tong and 356 - Dinh Vu streets. But the police face several difficulties in holding these drivers to account.

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Some traffic police believe that on National Highway 5 extending through Hai Phong City, the road management agency has not yet established driving lanes or reinstalled the signboards hung above, following national technical standards issued in 2016. This gives rise to free encroachment.

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A cyclo driver flirts with danger as a container truck goes past on Nguyen Binh Khiem Street.

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Bicycles and motorcycles have no choice but to wriggle their way through trucks and cars.

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At midnight, thousands of workers leave the Dinh Vu port and industrial zone on motorbikes. They have to find their way home through container trucks, cars and other big vehicles. Over the years, many tragic accidents have occurred.

Last Thursday, the Hai Phong Department of Transport sent a written request to relevant units to coordinate with each other on carrying out health checks on drivers to detect and remove those not eligible to drive, especially those engaging in drug and alcohol abuse.

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Container trucks and other vehicles at an intersection in Hai Phong City.

According to the port city's Department of Transport, it has registered more than 13,000 container trucks, 8,000 trucks without containers, 96 buses, and 619 passenger cars. In addition, nearly 2,000 trucks from other provinces and cities carry goods to and from the port.

"Traffic accidents take place in the area due to many reasons, including a lack of awareness among drivers, a rapid increase in the number of trucks and inadequate infrastructure," said one official of the Department of Transport who did not want to be named.

In one of the worst traffic accidents in southern Vietnam, at least four people died and 16 others were seriously injured last Wednesday after a truck slammed into motorbikes waiting at the traffic lights in Long An Province. The truck driver was later tested positive for liquor and heroin.

Road crashes are a leading cause of deaths in Vietnam, killing almost one person every hour, according to the National Traffic Safety Committee.

 
 
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