Hanoi authorities have taken many strong measures to ensure the safety of students on the road, according to Nguyen Phi Thuong, Director of the city's Department of Transportation.
"Driving motorbikes is rampant among students, even though the Road Traffic Law prohibits minors under 18 from doing so. This violation has many potential risks of causing traffic accidents and endangering passersby and the students themselves," Thuong said.
In recent days, Traffic Police Team No.10 of the Hanoi Public Security has been conducting a campaign to strictly deal with violations committed by students. In the first few days of the campaign, the team stopped a number of students who were riding motorcycles larger than 50cc to school, some without helmets, and drove recklessly.
Hanoi Traffic Police Team No.10 stops a number of students riding motorcycles larger than 50cc to school. Photo: Pham Cong/The Hanoi Times
In the first nine months of 2023, Hanoi police processed 1,814 violations, revoked 42 driver's licenses, and temporarily impounded nearly 800 motorcycles, totaling VND1 billion (US$41,172) in fines.
"Ensuring road safety for students is important. Currently, there are 152 schools in Hanoi prone to traffic jams and risks. To reduce traffic accidents for students, the Hanoi Traffic Safety Committee Office has conducted 15 communication programs on traffic law and traffic behavior for more than 28,500 teachers, students, and parents in the city," Thuong said.
In addition, the Hanoi Traffic Police Department organized 138 direct communication sessions at educational institutions for nearly 134,000 students and 9,700 teachers during the peak traffic safety month for students. About 50 teams of volunteers regulated traffic flow at school gates and distributed about 700 helmets and 50 life jackets to students in the city.
The Hanoi People's Committee has also approved the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety Initiative project, which involves international organizations in providing technology, training, and resources to ensure road safety and reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries in Hanoi, especially among students.
The fact that students drive without licenses and knowledge of traffic laws has led to unfortunate accidents and even loss of life.
According to the Hanoi Traffic Police Department, in the first nine months of 2023, there were 17 traffic accidents involving students in the capital, killing 9 children and injuring 13. Since the beginning of the year, there have been 563 accidents directly related to school-age students nationwide, claiming the lives of 329 children and injuring 528.
"These figures are extremely painful when these children are the future of the country. We will join hands with departments and agencies to take more drastic measures to ensure road safety," Thuong stressed.
The Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) is a multi-partner effort to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries in low- and middle-income countries.
Launched in the United States, BIGRS is a 12-year, $259 million effort to help other countries reduce road traffic deaths and injuries through technical assistance and training in the areas of promotion, law enforcement, traffic infrastructure, traffic information, monitoring, and statistics.
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Danang are among 28 cities worldwide participating in the BIGRS project, forming a global network with a shared commitment to reducing road traffic deaths and injuries.