Pedestrians may be subject to imprisonment sentence if they are found to violate road safety regulations and cause fatalities from 2018, when an amended Vietnam’s Penal Code comes into effect.
The amendments to the Penal Code, effective from January 1, 2018, include stricter penalties regarding traffic law offenses caused by pedestrians.
Any pedestrian found guilty of jaywalking may be jailed if the offense either results in at least three deaths; causing harm to at least three people with the total bodily damage ratio of 201 percent; or resulting in property damage worth at least VND1.5 billion (US$66,150). The jail terms for the offender ranges from seven to 15 years.
In Vietnam, numerous accidents caused by jaywalkers have been recorded, but the offenders often received minor charges.
Fourteen years ago, for instance, a man was walking on a bridge in Ho Chi Minh City when he suddenly decided to cross from one side to another, causing a motorbike driver behind to stop abruptly, eventually falling down and succumbing to death en route to the hospital.
The guilty pedestrian was only handed down a nine-month re-education without imprisonment.
There are various reasons for pedestrians in Vietnam to jaywalk. One of them is the widespread occupation of the sidewalks by street-side booths or parked motorbikes. Moreover, there are not enough zebra crossings on some long streets, forcing the walkers to take short-cut across the roads.
Some other thoroughfares do not have sufficient footbridges or having long median strips. Tuoitrenews