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Traffic chaos resumes as Tet holidays wind down
  • |, VNS | February 18, 2013 12:00 PM
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Traffic jams returned to the streets of Hanoi yesterday as a huge influx of people returned to work after a nine-day-long Tet (lunar New Year) holiday.

Potential traffic problems, including congestions, accidents and fare hikes, prompted Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Sunday to order localities to take drastic measures to ensure traffic order and safety during the coming days and Spring festivals.

Phuc, who is also chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, asked leaders of provinces and cities leaders to mobilise all personnel and vehicles to increase patrols and mete out strict punishment for all traffic safety violations, especially those that risked causing accidents.

Speeding, overload vehicles, driving in wrong lanes, drunk drinking, and driving without a helmet would be strictly fined.

Phuc said traffic police and inspectors should be deployed on key national roads, especially National Highway No 1 and other roads heading to HCM City and Hanoi, as well as places where Spring festivals are organised.

Supervision must be stepped up at bus and boat stations and violations including overloaded vehicles and other safety violations punished, he said.

During the first six days of Tet (February 9 – 14), the nation reported 290 traffic accidents that killed 234 and injured 284 people, nearly the same number as last year, according to the National Traffic Safety Committee.

Most accidents involved motorbikes and most of the fatalities were young people who were speeding, driving drunk and/or driving without helmets, the committee said.

Despite instructions from high-level leaders, problems such as congestions and passengers being over-charged were reported at major coach stations in some localities.

Major streets in Hanoi, such as Pham Van Dong, Pham Hung and Giai Phong that connect with other provinces saw traffic jams since yesterday morning, as a large number of people used private vehicles, mainly motorbikes, to travel back to the city.

The traffic chaos was compounded by coach drivers who ignored road rules when letting passengers get off at the wrong place.

Some photos of the jammed Hanoi's streets taken by DTiNews:

Xuan Thuy Street

Lang Street

Chua Boc Street

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