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Ho Chi Minh City mulls speed limit cuts to minimize road accidents

Saturday, December 03, 2016, 13:01 GMT+7

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City are considering lowering the maximum speed on certain routes citywide in a bid to reduce traffic accidents across the southern metropolis.

The municipal Department of Transport will carry out discussions next week to determine the new speed limits for certain streets, deputy director Tran Quang Lam said during a conference on Friday morning.

Speaking at the gathering, Ngo Hai Duong, head of the department’s Road Infrastructure Management and Exploitation Division, confirmed that the number of road crashes has increased since the implementation of Circular 91, which raised the speed limits in urban areas.

Specifically, the 60kph speed cap was applied to roadways with median strips and one-way two-lane roads, whereas the restriction for two-way roads without median strips and one-way one-lane roads was 50kph.

Both of the current limits are 10kph faster than previous levels.

After eight months of implementing the new circular, traffic accidents occurred more often on nine out of 12 streets applied with the higher speed limits, Duong underlined.

He proposed that the speed limits on Hanoi Highway, Vo Van Kiet and Pham Van Dong Avenues be lowered by 10kph.

Maximum velocity for motorcycles on National Highway 1 and such streets as Kinh Duong Vuong, Dong Van Cong, Mai Chi Tho, and Nguyen Van Linh should also be cut down by 10kph, he added.

Lieutenant Colonel Huynh Trung Phong, deputy chief of the traffic police department, shared a similar opinion, stating that current road infrastructure is not suitable for the corresponding velocity limits.

While the maximum speeds on most roads range from 50 to 60kph, the quality of certain streets can only ensure safety for vehicles travelling at the maximum of 30kph, Lt. Col. Phong elaborated.

However, several delegates did not agree with the proposition, asserting that adjusting the speed restriction should depend on each street and its traffic volume.

The rise of road accidents cannot be blamed solely on the high speed limits, they added.

According to Nguyen Ngoc Tuong, deputy head of the city’s Traffic Safety Committee, the current speed restrictions have received positive feedback from local citizens, thus readjusting them would require thorough consideration. 

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