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Traffic violators face even tougher fines

Update: February, 22/2012 - 10:13

HA NOI — Traffic violators will be subject to fines of VND3-10 million (US$142-476), have their vehicles impounded for a 10-day period and their driving licence suspended for 60 days if they attempt to bribe or oppose traffic officers.

The measures are part of the draft decree on administrative punishment for traffic violators, released by the Ministry of Transport to increase public trust in traffic law enforcement.

Trinh Minh Hien, head of the ministry's Legal Department said it was necessary to impose new fines for new types of traffic violations and to intensify current punishment levels to deter violators and maintain traffic order.

"While raising awareness about traffic safety requires a long time frame, stricter punishment measures are expected to help that process," she said.

Under the draft decree, fines for traffic violation regarding illegal racing, blood alcohol concentration and speeding and illegal parking will be raised to at least twice their current levels.

Violators will also be subject to additional punishment measures, such as having their driving license and vehicles retained or seized.

Illegal car and motorbike racers will be fined VND10-40 million ($476-1,904) and have their vehicles seized and driving licenses suspended for a 60-day period.

Drivers with a blood alcohol concentration exceeding permitted levels while driving will be fined VND8-25 million ($381-1,190) and have their vehicles retained for a maximum period of 60 days.

Drivers exceeding speed limits will be fined VND400,000-1.2 million ($19-57).

Drivers and motorbike riders caught parking illegally, turning without indicating or not wearing a proper helmet will be subject to fines of VND100,000-200,000 ($4.7-9.5).

Drivers using mobile phones while controlling their vehicles will receive fines of VND300,000-500,000 ($14-24).

The ministry's draft decree also imposes higher fines of between VND500,000-5 million ($24-238) on violators working for transport businesses such as those carrying more passengers than legally allowed or failing to list their name and phone number on the transport vehicles.

This draft decree has already attracted public opinion about its feasibility.

Luong Xuan Duong, a resident in the city's Tu Liem District said it was unacceptable when relevant authorities did not set up strict-enough rules to prevent their officers demanding or taking bribes, but instead increased fines for traffic violators.

He explained the amount of a bribe was often higher than the fines, so few violators voluntarily offer bribes.

Nguyen Duc Tan, a traffic policeman in the city's Thuong Tin District said seizing illegal motorbike racers' vehicles would be an effective method of stopping illegal racing, as fines license suspension has not been as effective as expected.

Nguyen Van Hoa, a motorbike driver on the city's Thai Ha Street said higher fines should be applied to drunk drivers who caused many traffic problems and endangered many people at night.

However, he wondered how he could buy the legal helmets as all helmets are stamped as regulated.

The current decree on administrative punishment for traffic violators was released two years ago. — VNS

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