Vietnamese traffic: locals know it; everyone complains about it. Tourists photograph it and chia sẻ their experiences bachồng home page. But for pedestrians, crossing the streets can be a daunting affair.

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Vietnam has made great strides economically. But amid the soaring economy & rise in tourism, roads and traffic policing have sầu not kept pace with the increasing number of vehicles on the road. The high traffic congestion in Vietnam giới is a hazardous enterprise that results from an excessive sầu number of motorbikes and limited infrastructure capacity. The road system has fallen behind population growth và the rising number of vehicles on the streets, resulting in gridlock and traffic jams even during non-peak hours.

In most areas, the traffic can grind to lớn a complete standstill. Bike riders và motorcyclists ride on sidewalks meant for pedestrians và leisurely cruise down one-way streets going the wrong way. It is not an uncomtháng sight lớn see two khổng lồ four people on a single motorxe đạp.

The heavy motorxe đạp density can be attributed khổng lồ how expensive sầu car ownership can be. Car owners have sầu to lớn pay VND 300 million ($13,ooo) for an autothiết bị di động due khổng lồ high production costs và a special consumption tax. Hence almost 95 percent of registered vehicles are motorbikes or scooters, & as many as 9,000 new motorcycles join the roads each day.

This high traffic density results in a high death toll each year, known as Vietnam’s “hidden epidemic.” While the Ministry of Public Security reported over 11,000 deaths in 2010, the Ministry of Health registry — collected through the hospital system — reported 15,464 deaths. However these numbers may underestimate the actual number of deaths và injuries, and grossly understate the severity of the problem.

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There have been some efforts khổng lồ improve sầu safety standards, such as the introduction of motorcycle helmets as a road safety intervention to lớn reduce the frequency và severity of head injuries from traffic crashes. It has been estimated that 60 percent of all road traffic injuries happen between motorcycle drivers and passengers.

In 2001, a law was introduced where wearing a helmet became mandatory for all motorcycle drivers on specific roadways such as national highways. By 2007, the government released another decree that made it mandatory for all motorcycle drivers to wear a helmet on all roads. However, there was little government enforcement and motorcycle drivers carried on without using a helmet.

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Another issue is the unique of helmets used by motorcycle drivers. According to Jonathan Passmore of the World Health Organization (WHO), 80 percent of helmets fail to meet national quality standards. Most of the helmets that are available in Vietphái mạnh are made of cheap & low chất lượng plastic, which doesn’t offer sufficient protection.


Beyond the helmet law, the government has tried to lớn address road congestion by constructing elevated highways, ring roads, outer belts, and bridges to lớn handle more traffic và restricting access by limiting or redirecting traffic (including taxi restrictions), charging parking fees, reducing parking spaces, and creating toll roads.

According khổng lồ experts, these measures have often been somewhat effective sầu in the short-term. However as the urban population grows exponentially và more people flock lớn the cities, it is only a matter of time before the capađô thị lớn handle traffic will deteriorate.

Moreover, the poor và unethical performance of traffic police officers results in driver frustration. Many traffic police officers issue on-the-spot informal fines and routinely accept bribes instead of abiding by legal procedures and regulating traffic in a systematic manner. Not only has this has made them unpopular among the public but also, knowing the sorry state of law enforcement, many drivers feel không tính tiền khổng lồ disregard traffic laws altogether.

Another problem may be the lachồng of driver education. While introducing new & tougher laws may reduce the high severity of road traffic fatalities, driver education is a key area khổng lồ look at for a viable và longer-term solution. It will take a generation lớn change mindsets & get the public khổng lồ respect & obey traffic rules.

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Roshni Kapur is an independent journamenu based in Singapore.

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