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President says new perspective needed for pedestrian traffic laws

29-12-2017

A pedestrian bridge over Chua Boc street in Hanoi. Picture: Cong Hung

A pedestrian bridge over Chua Boc street in Hanoi. Picture: Cong Hung

Kinhte&Dothi, an Urban Economy Newspaper in Vietnam, conducted an interview with AIP Foundation President Greig Craft on the provisions of the Criminal Law issued in 2015 by the Vietnamese government. The law states that pedestrians who violate traffic laws and cause serious damage in a crash can be convicted to up to 7-15 years in prison.

Craft discussed that all traffic violations should have similar severe penalties and while the law seems strong, it exists because of serious crashes caused by pedestrians that resulted in fatality for the driver. One concern raised by Craft was the feasibility of implementing the existing law, as many police instead choose to give ‘warnings’ to pedestrians that violate the law. He suggested issuing a high financial fine as an alternative approach, but emphasized that for any measure to be successful, intensive education of both pedestrians AND drivers must be enhanced.

When asked what the Government needs to pay attention to in its execution of the regulation, Craft responded, “I believe the government should consider this in a different way. Yes, pedestrians should be punished for illegal crossings, but the concept of ‘right of way’ must be mandated, including clearing of all sidewalks so that pedestrians will not have to walk in the road, and ensuring that all vehicles should always stop to allow pedestrians to safely cross the road at a zebra crossing. This is essential.”

 

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