Hanoi was able to cut congestion spots in the second half of last year, said Nguyen Van Khoi, vice chairman of the Traffic Safety Committee, in an interview with Ha Noi Ngay Nay (Hanoi Today) newspaper.

* The city has managed to control traffic in 2013. In your opinion, what were the key factors leading to this success?

I'm happy to say that traffic progress has been made in the city. This success is a reflection of the effective and workable measures adopted by the Traffic Safety Committee.

This is a solid foundation for the city to continue to implement synchronous measures to ensure a smooth traffic flow during rush hour.

In addition, I should mention the active involvement of leaders from various agencies, including the Party and administrative organisations at all levels.

Other key factors have been communication and education activities to raise awareness when people are on the roads as well as traffic police and inspectors.
In 2012, Hanoi took drastic measures to reduce traffic hot-spots by almost 50 per cent. Tell us how the city has done that.

A successful model I should mention is the city's task force 141 which was created on August 3, 2011. This task force is made up of mobile police, traffic police and special police 113 (anti-criminal units).

Their main duty is to detect and prevent hooliganism and criminal activities, including theft and traffic violations.

In addition, on special occasions like the Lunar New Year, major national festivals or university/college entrance exams, these forces co-ordinate closely with other civil forces to ensure law and order and traffic flow.

The 141 police have been very effective in keeping law and order, including stopping those who don't wear helmets and drink drivers.

* To improve traffic safety, have authorities tried to educate the public?

To turn the Party's Secretariat Instruction N°18 on "Strengthening the Party leadership on road, railway and inland water way traffic safety and the reduction in hot spots for traffic congestion," authorities issued Instruction N°17 on measures to ensure traffic safety, law and order, clean environment and beautiful landscape in the city.

Following the issuance of that instruction, achievements have been recorded thanks to strong co-ordination among various government and non-government agencies. We have installed 16 public loud speakers at key transport junctions to give direct messages on road safety to drivers.

I've also been very impressed by the active participation of the Hanoi Youth Union. What has been achieved in the last two years have contributed to the youth's active involvement in the five-year campaign (2013-17) with four key measures to help ease traffic problems, including congestion in the inner city.

Among the four key measures, the communication campaigns through cultural and arts programmes to raise awareness, particularly youths and children, has drawn particular interest from people of all walks of life.

* Does the city have any plans to tackle the remaining traffic hot spots?

To execute Government Resolution N°16 issued on July 31, 2008 to improve traffic congestion in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, authorities have developed a plan consisting of seven groups of measures, such as promoting communication activities to enforce traffic law while improving the capacity of law enforcement officers.

We hope by 2017, Hanoi will have a network of 372 km of high quality roads and another seven flyover, 18 pedestrian footbridges and more underground car parks.

Hanoi authorities have worked closely with other government agencies to relocate offices, universities and colleges to outside the city centre.

Public transport in the city now covers 86 routes - an increase of 10 against 2008.

We have set a target of 266 pedestrians' streets. To avoid traffic jams during rush hour, we have adjusted working hours for offices and schools as well as trading and service centres.

Thanks to our efforts, we have been able to cut down on the number of deaths and injuries on the streets.-VNA