|Members from high-powered motorcycle clubs gather in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang. Motorbikes with an engine of over 175 cc will be allowed to run on highway routes as a trial. — Photo Delta motor club
HA NOI (VNS) — Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang yesterday agreed to allow high-powered motorcycles to travel on highways as part of a trial.
At a conference yesterday, Thang ordered transport units to study the feasibility of high-powered motorcycles, with an engine capacity of more than 175 cc, to operate on highways.
Initially, three routes, including Ha Noi-Lao Cai, HCM City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay and Sai Gon-Trung Luong, would be open to such motorbikes. Riders, however, will be required to strictly obey regulations on speed on highway routes.
Further, transport units are to report on results after a period of time. The ministry would later amend the law, which would allow high-powered motorcycles to run on highway routes, if the pilot is successful.
Currently, Viet Nam bans all two-wheeled vehicles from travelling on highways.
Head of the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam, Nguyen Van Huyen, said the agency would submit to the Government a plan to carry out the pilot for six months.
He added that other countries, such as China, Thailand, Japan and South Korea, allow high-powered motorbikes to operate on highways. However, riders were only allowed to operate at speeds of 70 to 100 kph.
Also, Vice chairman of the National Committee for Traffic Safety, Khuat Viet Hung, said clubs made up of high-powered motorcycles, which were set up by suppliers, had previously proposed that this kind of vehicle receive permission to run on highways.
It was noted that high-powered motorcycles might cause pollution and annoy other types of two-wheeled vehicles. Worse, their engines could suffer damage if the vehicles only drive at slow speeds and brake regularly, he said.
In November 2013, the Ministry of Transport removed regulations on providing special A2 licences for motorbikes with an engine capacity of more than 175 cc. The licence was previously limited to specific applicants, typically police officers, military personnel and motorsport athletes.
The Viet Nam Registration Department said that this policy helped the market for high-powered motorbikes boom in the past several years. From March 1 to the end of last month, Viet Nam imported 3,416 high-powered motorbikes.
Figures from the Ministry of Public Security's Road and Railway Traffic Police Department showed that there were 29,100 motorbikes with an engine capacity of over 175cc in the country, mostly in large cities like HCM City (with 48.2 per cent) and Ha Noi (13.9 per cent) —-- VNS