Unlighted roads make accidents more likely and life easier for robbers
Multiple street lamps along several roads in Ho Chi Minh City have failed to work, compromising the safety of pedestrians and drivers.
A number of pedestrians were reportedly robbed on streets not illuminated by street lights in the southern hub.
A local woman named Duong Anh Thu, 26, said a man riding a motorbike snatched her backpack with valuable possessions and important papers inside while she was walking along a part of Hong Bang Street in District 5 on May 29.
With no lights shining at the time, she irretrievably lost her belongings as she was unable to see the man’s license plate number.
Many street lamps also emitted no light on Kinh Duong Vuong Street in Binh Tan District, and pitch-darkness usually covered a section in Thu Duc District of Vietnam’s lifeline National Route 1.
A van-filled shopping parade known as 32nd Street in District 6 have been swallowed by dark during the past many days as night fell, due to the failure of its 20 lamp posts.
An accident occurred here involving a pedestrian hit by an oncoming van in her attempt to cross the one-kilometer-long street at night.
Even the downtown had unlighted streets like Hai Ba Trung and Pham Ngoc Thach.
Lamp lights went off and electric wires were cut off by construction work, causing many streets not to be illuminated recently, according to Duong Chi Nam, director of Ho Chi Minh City Public Lighting Company, which manages over 80 percent of lights on major roads around the metropolis.
Nam said street lights that do not work are typically fixed with 12 hours since they are found defective.
But a longer time span is needed when the failure comes from broken electric wires, as the company has to report it to the municipal Department of Transport, which oversees city-wide street light operations.
A thorny problem the firm has been, Nam underlined, is that a number of electric devices have been persistently stolen at lamp posts, especially programmable logic controllers which serve to control the system of municipal street lights.
Over 1,000 cases of lamp-post electric stealing are reported every year, he said.
The company has taken different measures to alleviate the problem, if not to solve it completely, Nam added.