Street vendors encroach the side of a highway in Hanoi to sell wares, increasing the risk of traffic accidents (Photo: vtc.vn)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – The Hanoi Transport Department, in cooperation with local authorities in districts and communes, will tighten control on highways in an attempt to deter violations and ensure traffic safety.

In a document sent to local authorities, the department said violations such as roadside encroachment, illegally selling wares by the road or installing advertising panels had been common along highways in many districts.

These activities could pose safety risks, it said.

The department cited National Highway 6 as an example. Hundreds of violations, including illegal sales and parking of vehicles along the roadside, were reported along the stretch of highway passing through Dong Phuong Yen and Dong Son communes and Xuan Mai town, Chuong My district.

There were two temporary markets occupying 600 metres along the roadside in the two communes, disrupting traffic and polluting the local environment.

On the National Highway 21A section that runs through Thuy Xuan Tien and Nam OPhuong Tien communes, advertising panels were illegally installed along the roadside, forcing pedestrians to walk on the roads. Street vendors encroached on more than 100 metres of the roadside, breaking barriers and selling all types of wares.

The same situation was seen on National Highway 5 passing through Hanoi and Hung Yen province and along Thang Long boulevard.

To curb violations, the department has asked the maintenance committee for transport infrastructure works to direct road management units to review traffic safety along highways in the city.

It has also asked local authorities, transport inspectors and the maintenance committee to enhance inspections to deter on violations on the mentioned routes.

The city’s Department of Transport said it has implemented drastic measures to re-arrange traffic in Kim Lien underpass to improve safety after a series of tragic accidents.

The move was made after accidents in the underpass in April and May killed two people and left one seriously injured. Drink driving and poor design of the underpass were cited as the main reasons for the crashes.

The underpass has been categorised as a hot spot of traffic accidents in the city. Speed bumps and warning signs have been installed at the entrances.

The department said the road surface was steep, often wet and had poor grip. The lighting system was weak and some lights were broken.  

Ngo Manh Tuan, deputy director of the department, told online newspaper baogiaothong.vn the department has asked relevant units to replace broken lights, repair the road surface and install more speed bumps at the entrances of the underpass.

Tuan said the department was considering more measures such as installing traffic signals and reflective posts or replacing lane dividers with soft materials.

The department will install cameras to deter speeding violations or travelling in the wrong lane, he said.

Kim Lien underpass was the first underpass in the city. It is located on ring road No1 in the Dai Co Viet-Xa Dan section. The underpass has a length of 740 metres. It was built in 2006 and put into use three years later. The underpass frequently sees overcrowding at peak hours. — VNS/VNA