Vientiane Cracks Down On Illegal Parking

The Public Works and Transport Department, traffic police and the Vientiane Urban Development Administration Authority are cracking down on illegal parking in order to address traffic congestion in Vientiane.

In particular, authorities announced they are targeting the section of Nongbone Road from the bus station to the traffic lights at That Foun temple, as well as Hadsady Street in front of the Immigration Department.

The new initiative outlawing double-parking began on June 2 and is also focusing on eliminating unofficial parking concessions in this area.

A shortage of public parking spaces and the rising number of vehicles in Vientiane has led to an increasing number of car owners double-parking or parking on footpaths, even though it is against the regulations.

One local resident said Vientiane would be a safer and more orderly city if everybody obeyed the parking regulations. He said he was afraid of having an accident when driving along these roads because they were so congested and sometimes had to stop and wait for drivers to move their vehicles.

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Illegal parking, which impedes traffic flow, is a major contributor to congestion in the city. Many people have called on the authorities to address this issue, especially during the rush hour.

Vientiane Traffic Police Department Chief, Lieutenant Colonel Youtthaphong Souvannasing, told Vientiane Times yesterday police would issue a warning to drivers who double-parked.

“Double-parking is against the regulations. If drivers won’t comply, we will fine them,” he said.

Lt Col Youtthaphong said police had measures in place to address the parking problem, with a special focus on these roads in the city centre.

In these areas, police advised drivers to comply with the regulations, especially in regard to which side of the road they are allowed to park on, and avoid parking in the rush hour.

Lt Col Youtthaphong said traffic police would first mark the tyres of offending vehicles with chalk as a warning but if motorists didn’t move their vehicles they would be fined.

However, most people agree that traffic congestion is due to the lack of parking spaces in the downtown area, and many offices and shops don’t provide these facilities.

For this reason, many people park their cars haphazardly wherever they can find a parking space, without consideration for the additional congestion they cause or the fact that they may cause an accident.

According to the report, the total number of vehicles in the capital has now reached more than 660,000 among the estimated 800,000 residents.

Although the traffic police work continuously to conduct public awareness campaigns on road safety, the issue is still a challenge.

However, police say that while double-parking is a cause of accidents, drink-driving is still the major factor in accidents and fatalities in the capital.

From January to May this year, Vientiane recorded 670 road accidents in which 918 people were injured and 116 died, according to a police report.

Source: Vientiane Times