I feel privileged when two cars stop for me to cross a street in Saigon

By Minh Vu   November 7, 2023 | 04:00 pm PT
I feel privileged when two cars stop for me to cross a street in Saigon
A man and his two children cross the street in front of a primary school in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1, May 18, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh
I had a small joy yesterday afternoon, at an intersection in District 1 in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.

I stepped up to the zebra crossing at the intersection, which does not have traffic lights, cautious as always. Then two cars approached, each from one direction.

I slowed down for the cars to pass. But both cars also slowed down and stopped before the crossing, waiting for me to walk by.

I felt so happy and I signaled to thank both drivers.

Crossing the street in Vietnamese cities is a memorable adventure that has been featured in many videos by Western visitors.

According to the laws, all vehicles must slow down once there is a zebra crossing in sight. But many vehicles in Vietnamese cities do not stop for pedestrians to cross the street.

Even when the light is green for them, pedestrians must walk very carefully while watching out for vehicles making turns.

In a busy and crowded city like Ho Chi Minh City, drivers' conduct is very important to ensure safety.

Every day when I drive on Ton Duc Thang Street, I see many groups of foreign tourists confused as they want to cross the road from Bach Dang Wharf to Nguyen Hue walking street. I'm now seeing more drivers who stop to let them pass and receive thankful nods.

Such acts should be multiplied to build our traffic culture.

I believe that by starting with small changes such as slowing down for pedestrians, we can create a safer, happier, and more connected environment.

I hope that no pedestrian will be surprised and feel so happy when vehicles stop for them to cross the road. I hope this will become a normal thing.

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