Deadly highway does not meet international standards, who is responsible?

Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport’s goal is that by 2025 there will be an additional 3,171 km, and by 2030 there will be about 5,000 km of highways put into operation and use.

However, the quality issue of completed expressways, or incompletely constructed expressways that have been put into unofficial operation, often causing accidents, is a concern.

VnExpress online newspaper on February 18 reported, “Consecutive accident on Cam Lo-La Son highway, mother and child died.” The news said that on the morning of February 18, on the Cam Lo-La Son expressway in Thua Thien-Hue, a 7-seater car passed right, collided with a container truck, then drove into the opposite highway lane and was hit by a coming truck. The accident killed 3 mother and children, on the morning of February 18.

On the same afternoon, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh sent his regards and condolences to the victim’s family, and at the same time, requested the police to urgently investigate the cause of the accident and strictly handle violations.

In the Prime Minister’s Official Telegram dated February 18, the Ministry of Transport was requested to coordinate with agencies to review and organize reasonable traffic on the Cam Lo-La Son expressway and the nationwide traffic system, especially for highways with only two lanes and having no emergency stopping lanes.

It is known that the Cam Lo-La Son expressway is 98.3 km long, connecting Quang Tri province with Thua Thien Hue province. This route was inaugurated in phase one on December 31, 2022, with a permitted speed of about 60-80 km/h, depending on the section.

This is one of 5 highways in the country, currently only having two lanes, cross section of 12 m, some overpasses are 23 m wide, 4 lanes. It is expected that after 2030, this highway will be expanded to 4 lanes.

This route has had a number of accidents, most recently on December 18, 2023, two container trucks collided, stuck together and caught fire, in the section passing through Huong Tra town, Thua Thien Hue province. This accident killed one driver on the spot and two others were seriously injured.

After the serious accident on the morning of February 18 on the Cam Lo-La Son highway, the state-controlled media quoted many opinions saying that the car driver was at fault when he tried to overtake the car in front.

On social networks as well as on car forums, there have been hundreds of opinions analyzing the behavior of car drivers. Accordingly, most opinions believe that the initial cause was due to the car driver overtaking recklessly.

However, according to experts, when watching the video clip and panoramic photos taken by flycam of the accident, we see that the main cause is due to the quality of the Cam Lo-La Son expressway not meeting standards.

Journalist Nguyen Hong Lam, in the status “Too narrow, not understandable!” on his personal Facebook page, commented:

“The highway has only 1 lane on each side and no hard median between the two directions, which is the cause of accidents. If each side of the road is wider enough to avoid and the merging distance is far enough according to standards, the car will not overturn. If there is a hard divider between the two lanes, the car will not be blown into the opposite lane and crashed again after flipping.

If there is an accident, it only happens in one direction, and losses are also reduced because it does not happen consecutively in both directions. In this case, clearly, the level of disaster increased because the road design was too unreasonable.”

Public believes that despite having the same name as an expressway, the expressway in Vietnam does not meet international standards. Then, the 300 km highway in the Central region has its own unique style, unlike anywhere else, which is extremely arbitrary and dangerous. The Cam Lo-La Son expressway, Thua Thien Hue, is an example.

This highway has only 2 lanes and no hard median. Throughout the nearly 100 km length, every 5-8 km, each side turns into 2 lanes to allow vehicles to pass, then from 2 lanes on each side, merge into one.

That is one of the reasons why accidents continue to occur, and of course, when causing a fatal accident, the driver will be arrested and prosecuted. But if the expressway design does not meet standards, no one is at fault, no one is responsible for that and responsible people easily cite the reason “construction is in phase one.”

Public sees that the Cam Lo-La Son expressway has just been put into use, but many accidents have occurred.

To prevent catastrophic accidents that may occur in the future, it is necessary to immediately close this section of the deadly Cam Lo-La Son highway, to adjust and revise the design to make it reasonable. At the same time, the Minister of Transport is requested to intervene to investigate and clarify the responsibility of each person and each organization.

In addition, the fact that the Ministry of Public Security mobilized a large number of traffic police during the Lunar New Year to participate in the campaign to blow alcohol levels and imposing hard fines is unreasonable. Why not arrange a traffic police department to monitor accident-prone roads to ensure people’s safety?./.


Tra My –

Kasse animation 7.8.2023