HA NOI — Although the Government has outlawed the abuse of car horns since July 2010, drivers continue violating the rules.
|Car horn abuse by motorists causes almost constant noise pollution in the nation's big cities. — VNA/VNS Photo
Car horn abusers have caused many heart-rending accidents in big cities. Last August, a 22-year-old girl was run over after losing control of her bike on a street in Ha Noi as a result of being startled by loud hooting.
A month earlier, a young man was hit by a passing truck at the Xuan Thuy- Mai Dich intersection , also in Ha Noi, due to the same reason.
"Vietnamese motorists constantly sound their horns to let others know they are coming, even if no vehicles are in sight. It's a crazy sound," said British visitor Colin William.
Various types of car horns are sold at markets and motor vehicles stores without regulation, costing mainland from a couple of hundred dong to millions. Most models are made in China or Taiwan and exceed noise limits.
According to Ngo Ngoc Son, deputy director of the Motor Vehicle Technical Safety Inspection Department, horn volumes used in the inner city is limited between 90 to 115 decibels, with bus and lorry horns at about 300.
"When people register technical motor vehicle information, they often remove illegal horns to pass the registration procedure," Son said.
Tran Van Nghia, a traffic officer in Ha Dong Town, said that using illegal car horns was a common occurrence, especially in crowded streets, with mostly violators being truck and coach drivers.
According to Nghia, more than half of vehicles in his area use illegal horns with volumes exceeding the limit. However, punishment is difficult due to drivers using many ruses to avoid the police.
"We have no equipment to check horn volumes. All we can do is listen," he said.
Even though the Law on Road Traffic bans the use of loud or inappropriate horns, "it's extremely difficult to punish offenders", said Nguyen Van Tai, a member of Transport Police Team No 3 in HCM City.
He added that the problem has led more noise pollution in the city.
Under a 2011 law, punishments associated with the use of illegal horns have come in at between VND2million and VND3 million (US$95 – 145).
"It is not enough to deter violators," Tai stressed, saying, "Motorists often install two horn systems to fool officials."
Police needed to strengthen patrols to efficiently punish offenders, he suggested. — VNS