(Source: Thanh Nien News)
Many of us who have lived in Saigon for the last couple of years have definitely noticed the huge increase in traffic lately. More and more cars and motorbikes are clogging the narrow streets of Saigon with no relief in site. Traffic accidents are on the rise. Today alone, my elbow or arms were struck by another motorbike on three occasions. Yesterday, the number of times I was hit by a mirror or handlebar of another motorbike was 5. Oh yes, I do wear a helmet now. I do not feel safe without it anymore.
Who is to blame for the current traffic woes inside Saigon. Well, for one, WTO should get the partial blame for forcing Vietnam to lower tariffs on new cars and allowing the import of cheaper used cars. This has resulted in a huge increase of cars on the streets of Saigon. Even scarier, these ‘new’ cars are navigating the streets of Saigon like motorbikes resulting in more car to motorbike accidents. The drivers do not seem to care about the motorbikes anymore. Wear a helmet!
Another culprit to the worsening traffic situation in Saigon is the current regulation that allows Vietnamese to own more than one motorbike. Yeah, the law makes it easier for everyone to own a motorbike now, but the negative outcome of this law means that there will be more motorbikes on the road, literally. Before this regulation, one person could just own one motorbike. A great way to cut down on the number of motorbikes on the road. Excellent way to control pollution.
The Fatherland Front, an umbrella organization of social and political groups, is blaming poor traffic planning. In their words, Front members blamed the “traffic maze” on city authority’ “short vision and careless management.” According to the Thanh Nien News:
The People’s Committee blamed the deteriorating situation on the growing number of vehicles, increasing population, unfinished construction projects and people’s lack of awareness on traffic regulations.
The Front suggested increasing traffic fines for violators, reorganizing work and school hours in traffic-congested areas, increase traffic police patrols and educating people on traffic regulations.
Will their recommendations be heeded? Right now, only time will tell but as every commuter in Saigon knows, it needs to be dealt with now.
Read more here -> Front blames city leaders’ narrow vision for traffic woes