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Drivers voice concern over traveling on incomplete expressway in Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa Province

Drivers voice concern over traveling on incomplete expressway in Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa Province

Thursday, July 13, 2023, 15:03 GMT+7
Drivers voice concern over traveling on incomplete expressway in Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa Province
An accident on the Nha Trang - Cam Lam Expressway in Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam on July 3, 2023 left two people dead and six others injured. Photo: Thuc Nghi / Tuoi Tre

The Nha Trang - Cam Lam Expressway in Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam has been open to traffic for nearly two months despite some areas of the road remaining under construction.

Many drivers have claimed to feel unsafe while traveling on the road, especially following two deadly traffic accidents there.

Nguyen Van Cuong, a driver who often travels on the Nha Trang - Cam Lam Expressway, said he and other drivers are quite nervous on this expressway, especially at night.

“The lanes are narrow, so it is dangerous if a vehicle overtakes a trailer truck," Cuong said.

“That’s not to mention the requirement of driving below 80 kilometers per hour for a long distance, which is exhausting to drivers.”

The expressway also has no lighting systems or rest stops, Cuong added.

According to Cuong, drivers often violate speed limits, likely due to a shortage of speed cameras on the expressway.

“Sometimes I was traveling on the expressway when workers were working on the two sides of the road. Some trucks and workers erecting warning signs on some sections gave me a start,” said Le Thu Ha, a resident in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province.

“I hope for the early completion of the expressway and sanctions for drivers violating [traffic regulations].”

The Khanh Hoa Traffic Safety Board has met with the investor of the project, local authorities, and traffic police to ensure traffic safety on the Nha Trang - Cam Lam Expressway, said Nguyen Van Dan, director of the provincial Department of Transport and deputy head of the provincial Traffic Safety Board.

The investor still holds responsibility for the expressway.

The Traffic Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security will investigate the cause of recent traffic accidents, enhance patrols, and review solutions to ensure safety on the road.

“We have required the investor to quickly complete remaining construction items, including cameras and a smart traffic management system, by the end of September 2023,” Dan added.

Many drivers feel unsafe while traveling on the expressway. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre

Many drivers feel unsafe while traveling on the expressway. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Van Huy, director of Nha Trang - Cam Lam Expressway Investment Co. Ltd., the investor of the expressway project, said the company is responsible for repairing the expressway, erecting warning signs, and regulating traffic on sections under repair. Other agencies take charge of ensuring safety on the expressway.

The expressway has been equipped with surveillance cameras but they are not used to monitor vehicles’ speed.

Nha Trang - Cam Lam Expressway Investment Co. Ltd. has proposed installing cameras to monitor and impose sanctions on vehicles violating the speed limit. However, the company does not know the camera installation time, Huy said.

He attributed recent accidents on the expressway to drivers.

“Fences on the two sides of the expressway have been completed. A lighting system is equipped only in a tunnel, not along the entire route," Huy explained.

“The expressway has yet to have rest stops as a tender has yet to be held.”

The investor expected to complete the entire Nha Trang - Cam Lam Expressway by July 30.

The 49.1-kilometer four-lane expressway was opened to traffic on May 19 and inaugurated on June 18, allowing a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour and a minimum speed of 60 kilometers per hour.

Work on the expressway project, carrying a price tag of over VND5.5 trillion (US$233.2 million), started in September 2021.

On June 24, a collision between a container truck and an auto on the Nha Trang - Cam Lam Expressway claimed the lives of two people and injured three others.

A long-haul bus was traveling on the expressway when it crashed into a truck at about 5:00 am on Monday last week, leaving two people dead and six others injured.

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Thanh Ha - Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre News

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