A red light traffic safety maneuver goes viral

By Dang Khoa   January 14, 2019 | 11:35 pm PT
Videos surface of drivers leaving their motorbikes at red lights and waiting on sidewalks for them to turn green.

It is not clear whether they are a satirical spoof but the videos are clearly a response to a spate of recent accidents where people waiting on motorbikes at red lights have been killed and injured.

The most horrific accident of them all happened in southern Long An Province early this month, killing four and injuring many others when a truck driver high on alcohol and heroin plowed into dozens of motorbikes waiting at a traffic light.

Last October, a Saigon woman driving under the influence killed one person and injured five. The woman was speeding on Dien Bien Phu Street and approaching the Saigon Bridge as she lost control and crashed her BMW into five motorbikes waiting at the Hang Xanh intersection traffic light.

These and other similar incidents have led to anger and fear that commuters are not safe when stopping at traffic lights.

The incidents have prompted a few youngsters to offer "solutions" on how to safely wait at a red light. They have posted several videos on Facebook titled "Safe way to stop at a red light," which shows people leaving their motorbikes at red lights and running up to the sidewalks and waiting for them to turn green.

Some of these videos attracted thousands of views and hundreds of comments.

While some people have appreciated the videos as a spoof, others have engaged in serious discussion about it, including commenting on a staged incident showing a rider-less motorbike parked at a red light being stolen by a pillion rider from another motorbike.

According to traffic regulations in force, a vehicle owner can be fined VND100,000-200,000 ($4.3-$8.6) for leaving vehicles on the road and disturbing the traffic.

Road crashes are a leading cause of deaths in Vietnam, killing almost one person every hour. A total of more than 18,720 traffic accidents occurred in 2018, killing 8,244 people and injuring nearly 14,800, according to the National Traffic Safety Committee.

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