The weather doesn't cause traffic jams, people do

By Vu Thi Minh Huyen   February 6, 2023 | 10:40 pm PT
The weather doesn't cause traffic jams, people do
Heavy traffic on a rainy day in Hanoi, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
One recent morning, I had to spend 45 minutes in the rain just to get from my house on Quang Trung St. to my workplace on Tran Phu St., a 4-kilometer distance.

Every time it rains in Hanoi, it is almost impossible to get to work on time, making transportation a daytime nightmare for many people.

We blame the traffic jams on the rain, but that's not the case. Congestions happen because of people, or more specifically, their behavior. Every day, I see people cutting lines, speeding up and intruding into lanes, and making light of the law. Even the ones who follow the rules get yelled at by those who don't, for example, for not being willing to run through a red light when there's no police present.

Sometimes when I stop at a light, some vehicles still collided with mine as they were trying to slip through the cracks to get as close to the front as possible.

If things continue like this, how will traffic jams ever become a thing of the past in Hanoi?

I know that the elements can be a pain. No one wants to stay on the street for too long in bad weather; everyone wants to get home or to get to work as soon as possible. But if people are willing to run traffic lights or take up space just because there's no police in sight, we will only slow down all together. Even worse, this could cause accidents.

Some people blame things on the uncoordinated and insufficient traffic infrastructure. There might be too few traffic police officers, which means traffic hubs might not be coordinated as well. But one thing is clear: Being stuck in traffic for hours isn't the fault of the weather, but because of people's incivility.

The fact that some people can so blatantly ignore the law indicates that for some segments of the population, law-breaking is the norm. It is this mentality that has led to deadly accidents.

I believe the traffic sector needs to teach people more traffic etiquette so they can realize that following traffic laws means protecting oneself and others around them. Such a behavior needs to be consistent, rain or shine or whatever your mood is at the time.

Only when people are civilized in traffic can traffic jams truly disappear in Hanoi.

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
go to top