Warning lights, barriers patrols are to be installed at dangerous railway crossings to cut down the number of fatal accidents and injuries, the Hanoi Department of Transport has said.

The crossings include 11 crash spots in Thanh Tri, Thuong Tin and Phu Xuyen districts including those in Hoang Liet Ward, at Tu Ky Pagoda in Hoang Mai district and at Dau Pagoda in Thuong Tin district.
The department has set up guard stations at nine crash spots, most of them in Thuong Tin and Phu Xuyen districts.
In the first three months this year, more than 20 accidents occurred in Hanoi ’s railway system, 11 more than in the same period last year, the department said. They killed 23 people and injured 17.

The main cause of the accidents is drivers and pedestrians failing to pay attention, department deputy director Nguyen Xuan Tan said.

The latest railway accident occurred on March 30 when a bus driver failed to obey warning signals in Nguyen Trai commune, Thuong Tin district. Nine people died in the accident and 10 others were injured.

In November, 2009, seven people died when a train crashed into a bus in Thuong Tin district’s Van Tu commune.

The department proposed the Vietnam Railway Administration and district authorities put up more warning signs and instructions at railway and crossings.

At present, the Railway Law and crossing regulations do not punish drivers or pedestrians who ignore warnings signals and deliberately cross at the wrong place, he said.

Also, Tan said the department does not punish people who built houses too close to railway safety zones.

“Legislative bodies should have strict punishment for drivers who violate railway safety regulations and raise local residents’ awareness,” Tan said./.