New police data confirmed that 152 pedestrians were killed last year when they were crossing or walking in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City streets unlawfully.
Dao Vinh Thang, chief of Hanoi’s traffic police, said his department has stepped up fines against jaywalking pedestrians since early this month to reduce fatalities.
In the city, deaths linked to jaywalking increased from 80 in 2013, to 92 in 2014, and 102 last year.
“Many are not aware of the danger,” he told the media.
In Ho Chi Minh City, 50 pedestrians were killed last year.
“The main cause was walking on the wrong sections. Some pedestrians even climbed over median barriers instead of using the legal crossings," said Nguyen Ngoc Tuong of Ho Chi Minh City Traffic Safety Committee.
Many people in Hanoi were actually surprised when being fined VND70,000 (US$3.20) for jaywalking the past few days.
“I always crossed the street like this and no one fined me before,” said Nguyen Ngoc Suu, a resident on Ham Long Street.
In just two weeks Hanoi traffic police have issued fines against 423 pedestrians for traffic safety violations, mostly jaywalking.
Nguyen Minh Duc, a traffic officer in Hanoi, said that pedestrian violations have been on the rise.
“It is difficult to fine them because many often said they did not bring money. We then requested them to produce their ID but they did not have it either,” he said.
“Some also complained that they walk on the street on vehicle travel lanes because the sidewalks are occupied,” he added.