Vietnam: Fatal and non-fatal level crossing accidents increasing

24 Jul

In the first five months of 2015 the number of both fatal and not fatal accidents has increased. The 86 accidents recorded in this period led to 76 fatalities with a further 24 sustaining non-fatal injuries. The rapid growth in population and development of the Vietnamese economy has increased the number of level crossings. However, many level crossings are said to be unsuitable for the level of road traffic now using them. Grade separation has been implemented at a few locations. Another aspect of the level crossing situation in Vietnam is tat residential and commercial development has encroached to the point that it severely restricts visibility for road users and train drivers alike.

In Ho Chi Minh City fences were constructed around the railway right-of-way. However, a decade on this investment has been negated by the widespread will to cut the fencing to reopen a shorter route across the railway.

While many call for the upgrading of level crossings to provide active warnings to road users, the budget to do this isn’t in place. With common purpose the railway and local authorities need to lead the way in preventing the further increase in the number of level crossings and lead action to eliminate unauthorised level crossings. The government needs to allocate sufficient funding to tackle the upgrading of level crossings that cannot be eliminated.

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