Slow down: WHO says cars are moving too fast in Hanoi

By Doan Loan   April 25, 2017 | 09:13 pm PT
Slow down: WHO says cars are moving too fast in Hanoi
A crowded traffic area in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Phuong Son
A lower speed limit will help reduce road fatalities in the capital city.

Speed limit in urban areas of Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, should be decreased to 50 kilometers (30 miles) per hour from 60 kph now, given a large traffic volume in the city, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said.

Many countries set the speed limit for cars at 30 kph in crowded areas and near schools, Lokky Wai, WHO representative in Vietnam, told reporters on Tuesday.

Hanoi is a densely populated city and the number of vehicles on the road is high, so lowering car speed limit is necessary, he said.

The transport ministry last year raised the speed limits for cars and motorcycles by 10 kph to 60 kph in urban areas and 90 kph in outskirt areas, citing better road conditions.

Nguyen Huu Danh, deputy head of the Traffic Police Department, said one in every 10 road accidents last year were caused by overspeeding.

Nearly 22,000 traffic accidents happened in 2016, down 5.52 percent from the previous year, and the toll stood at 8,685, down 0.5 percent in the same period, government statistics show. To put those figures in perspectives, 24 people die on average in Vietnam every day.

The ministry decided to raise the speed limits for vehicles on two-way streets with dividers and one-way streets having at least two lanes in urban areas following the better quality of streets in most cities across the country, Danh said.

But local people continue jaywalking and disregard traffic regulations, according to experts.

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