More locations in Ho Chi Minh City have been considered as traffic accident hotspots, sparking particular concerns as many of the crash-prone areas are now in the downtown neighborhoods.
A total of 19 traffic 'black spots' have been recorded across the southern metropolis as of June, compared to 16 areas last year, according to the municipal Department of Transport.
According to the Ministry of Transport, a location will be deemed an accident 'black spot' if at least two fatal accidents, or four normal crashes in which the victims are injured, occur there in a period of 12 months.
The Ton Duc Thang-Ham Nghi intersection in District 1 has emerged as one of the new accident hotspots, after four people were killed in four accidents in 2018.
The intersection is near Bach Dang Park and the Khanh Hoi Bridge, which links District 1 and District 7.
Traffic congestion usually occurs at this junction during rush hour when people who cross Ton Duc Thang from Ham Nghi to reach the park ‘meet’ those heading to the bridge in the heart of the intersection.
|A section of Nguyen Duy Trinh Street. Photo: Mai Thuong /Tuoi Tre|
The Ton Duc Thang-Ham Nghi intersection is only one of the traffic accident 'black spots' that are located near the city’s downtown area, consisting of Districts 1, 3, 5 and 10.
A total of five crashes have recently occurred on Hoang Sa Street in District 1, killing four and injuring one, while three people lost their lives in three accidents along Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street in District 3.
Serious accidents have also happened at Nguyen Tri Phuong Bridge in District 5, and on 3/2 Street in District 10.
Old 'black spot' gets worse
Topping the list of traffic accident-prone areas in Ho Chi Minh City is Nguyen Duy Trinh Street, spanning District 2 and District 9, where nearly 20 people have been killed over the past three years.
Local authorities have carried out various measures to curb the problem, but none of them proved effective.
|A sharp curve along Hoang Sa Street in District 1. Photo: Ngoc Phuong /Tuoi Tre|
According to the observation of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper's reporters, Nguyen Duy Trinh Street is only seven to eight meters wide, while a large number of trucks and tractor trailers travel along the route on a daily basis.
These trucks often travel at a rather high speed, despite the presence of signs warning about frequent crashes on this road.
Motorcyclists have no choice but to drive as close to the edge of the street as possible in order to make way for the trucks, while ensuring their own safety.
“My family usually avoid going outside in the evening for this reason,” said Tran Thi Van, a resident on Nguyen Duy Trinh Street.
Local dwellers have repeatedly called on traffic police to have regular patrols along the route.
The street, however, remains among the most accident-prone hotspots in the city.
|An area near the Sai Gon Bridge, one of the city’s accident hotspots. Photo: Nguyet Nhi /Tuoi Tre|
Clearing the 'black spots'
Tran Quang Lam, director of the municipal Department of Transport, stated that clearing the ‘black spots’ is one of the top priorities of the agency.
The transport department has set a goal to lower the number of traffic accidents and casualties by five percent, as well as to eradicate eight out of 19 'black spots' by the end of this year, Lam elaborated.
Focus will be directed on improving traffic infrastructure in the city, including renovating local streets and adding traffic lights and signposts, the official remarked.
Efforts will also be exerted to ensure sufficient space for pedestrians to walk along sidewalks, he added.
Local authorities will install more traffic cameras to monitor the speed of vehicles and assist the punishment of traffic rule violators.
"A speed limit will be imposed on Nguyen Duy Trinh Street. We will also consider building pedestrian bridges or underpasses near the Ton Duc Thang-Ham Nghi intersection,” Lam stated.
Traffic police units will be tasked with conducting frequent patrols, while penalties will be made stricter to deter offenders.