HCM City People's Committee is asking the city police to propose strict measures to curb violations in car parking which is worsening traffic problems in the area.
Tran Quoc Thao Street was heavily congested on January 2 due to parked cars. Cars and taxis parked on Bui Thi Xuan and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai streets also caused constant congestion while drivers ignored no parking signs on Truong Sa and Hoang Sa streets.
An Phu Ward saw similar problems as there are rarely any traffic inspections.
Penalties tightened for illegal parking in HCM City.
According to the Department of Transport, parking is banned on 77 streets in the city's centre, 20 streets ban parking based on the hours. In addition, a parking ban pilot programme is being carried out in five streets and the odd-even day car parking plan is being implemented on 20 streets. However, drivers barely pay any attention to the regulations.
The department reported that 25 streets are used as parking lots. However, because of low fees of VND5,000 (22 US cents) per car, the lots are making congestion worse.
Ben Thanh traffic police said they had applied various measures in the past years such as taking off licence plates or confiscating cars. Drivers must pay at least VND1.2m(53 USD) to recover their vehicles but the police are refraining from car-clamping due to fears over congestion.
Lieutenant Colonel Huynh Trung Phong, head of the Road and Railway Traffic Police Division, said they hadn't received official directives from the city people's committee. However, because of increasing number of vehicles as Tet approaches, they have tightened inspections and issued fines through information from traffic cameras.
He said they would discuss about the use of wheel clamps.
Statistics from the Department of Transport show that there are about 59 buildings in the city centre has from one to five undergrounds parking lots. But only 20% of them can be used for public parking. Aside from stricter punishments, the city also needs more public parking lots.