Transport ministry needs to focus on BOT, traffic safety

The Ministry of Transport needs to come up with a plan to solve all problems related to BOT (build-operate-transfer) road toll stations nationwide this year, while issues of overloaded trucks and traffic safety are also in need of urgent attention.

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The made the statement at a conference held on January 2 to reviewing the implementation of activities in 2017 and setting out this year’s tasks at the Vietnam Directorate for Roads.

The said that the issues at BOT tollgates have become more complicated following protests by drivers. Thus, the ministry and relevant authorities need to seek solutions in order to balance the interests of the State, investors and road users.

He suggested that the application of automatic fee collection would help solve the problem and also ensure fairness in monitoring the collection of fees.

In addition, the settlement of the BOT projects would also need drastic measures. The assigned the Vietnam Directorate for Roads to coordinate with the project management boards to quickly complete the settlement of the BOT projects.

The directorate must create conditions for businesses to invest in non-stop toll collection systems to avoid a monopoly. The ministry would issue strict fines for vehicles passing tollgates without an electronic tag in the future, he said.

At the conference, The stressed that the directorate needed to focus on overloaded trucks and traffic safety.

Deputy director of the directorate Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that the number of overloaded trucks had started to increase again in some localities, which was caused by the withdrawal of police officers from functional forces at patrol spots to monitor the loads of vehicles.

As a result, supervision at the spots was inefficient. In addition, local authorities failed to take measures to reduce the number of overloaded vehicles on the road.   

Unregistered passenger buses have become a problem in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City due to loose management of local departments of transport and the directorate.

Ineffective cooperation between authorised agencies and a shortage of funding have led to more than 7,679 kilometres of road and 856 bridges not receiving regular repairs.

Currently, there are 230 traffic accident black spots nationwide.

In reply to the directorate’s report, The said the report did not show specific problems of the transport sector.

He cited the traffic system as an example. There were 23,000 kilometres of highways nationwide, and about 2,300 kilometres of roads that needed to be repaired each year. Thus, it took 10 years to rotate all the roads for repair work. This has caused the traffic network to become seriously degraded.

The asked the directorate to give priority to repairing downgraded roads instead of building new ones.

He also said that the directorate needed to enhance the application of technology for the supervision of the transport sector, such as installing cameras on highways and bus stations.

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