Citing Thuan, Vietnam news agency (VNA) reported that this is part of the new decree which regulates stricter punishment for traffic violators in order to try and minimise traffic accidents, as well as to raise people's awareness of traffic laws.

Previously, Thuan said violations by pedestrians will be ignored.

For those people who stray from pavements and pathways designated for pedestrians or those who do not obey the commands of police, traffic wardens or traffic signs, will be fined between 40,000 VND (US$2.1) to 60,000 VND (US$3.15)

Higher fines of between 60,000 to 80,000 VND (US$3.1 to US$4.2) will be for pedestrians who carry cumbersome objects that hinder traffic flow, and those that jump road barriers or hang on to moving vehicles.

Pedestrians caught commuting along highways will receive the highest punishment of 120,000 VND.

However, the police responsible for enforcing these laws will meet with a lot of difficulties, according Vietnam news agency.

Among the difficulties are, Head of Bac Ninh province's Traffic Police Department Nguyen Van Toan said that they do not have enough manpower to enforce these laws.

"And if it is not possible to fine all violators, it will be unfair," he said.

Toan said that poor labourers, who fined, will be unable to pay such high fines and there is no way of forcing them to do so.

Head of Thanh Hoa province's Traffic Police Department Dao Duch Minh outlined measures that policemen should take when a violator does not have the money to pay or has not got their identity card with them.

"There are many ways to make traffic violators pay fines. If they do not have their ID card, they should be made to call their relatives or friends to bring money or the card to them," he explained.

Under the new regulations, the fines for motorbike and car drivers who violate traffic laws will also be increased to two to three times high than current levels.

For example, car drivers who run red lights will receive a fine of 600,000-800,000 VND (US$31.5 to US$42 USD) instead of 200,000-400,000 VND (US$10.5 to US$21).

In addition, the Ministry of Transport will pilot even higher punishment levels in cities with a population of more than five million people.

The pilot fines for the big cities will be 40 to 200 percent higher than in other areas.

For example, the new common fine levels for car drivers caught running red lights will be 600,000-800,000 VND (US$31.5 to US$42) as mentioned above but in the big cities, these will be 1-1.4 million VND (US$52.5 to US$73.6).

Bernama - April 9, 2010