Hanoi may turn to surveillance to tackle defiance of Traffic Law

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Hanoi police have proposed stricter measures against Traffic Law offenders following as cases of citizens defying traffic police officers is on the rise.

This increase has shown that ignoring traffic laws among certain residents has become habitual, major general Tran Thuy, deputy director of Hanoi Police Department, said at a meeting between the Hanoi People's Committee and the National Assembly's Law Committee on July 31.

According to Hanoi police, there have been 20 cases of residents opposing traffic police over the past six months.

He said the current penalties are not harsh enough. Drivers who actively oppose traffic police are subject to VND4 million in fines and a one month suspension of their driver's license, while those who  fail to follow the orders of a traffic police officer may be fined VND1.4 million face the same suspension of their driving privileges.

Regarding the illegal occupation of sidewalks, Thuy said the fines of between VND20 million-VND30 million currently levied against hawkers and small vendors are too high and thus, making enforcement  impractical.

Dao Vinh Thang, the city vice chief traffic police, suggested investing more equipment to record traffic breaches for subsequent punishment instead of assigning officers to the streets to issue tickets.

He also proposed that traffic police could collect fines directly.

"A traffic offender currently has to visit four offices to pay the fine," he said.

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Nguyen Van Khoi, deputy chairman of Hanoi People's Committee blamed the rampant driving-related violations on the unwillingness of residents to abide by the law and the lax surveillance of local authorities.

He said the city is investing in a traffic control center which would include the installation of around 200 cameras on the streets of Hanoi.

Between 2009 and June 2012, authorities in Hanoi recorded more than 2.7 million violations to traffic law, issuing fines of more than VND558 billion.

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