Some people have criticised a new decree allowing the police to stop motorbike drivers who leave their kickstands down, which carries a fine of VNĐ2-3 million (US$80-130).
Critics said the regulation was unreasonable because many drivers forget to put their kickstands up.
Lawyer Huỳnh Phước Hiệp from the HCM City Bar Association said the regulation is targeting people who intentionally put their kickstands down while driving in order to create sparks on the road, causing public disorder and even accidents.
The regulation leaves it up to traffic police to define violators and issue proper fines. This could lead to complications and misunderstandings; for instance, if the traffic police wrongly issue a fine, it would be difficult to refund the money, he said.
Hiệp said law-making agencies should produce a document that clearly explains the regulation, such as which drivers would be fined and under which circumstances.
Associate Professor Nguyễn Hồng Thái, deputy head of the Transport Faculty under the Hà Nội University of Communications and Transport, said the regulation is reasonable if it only fines people who intentionally put their kickstands down. But it would be too harsh if it also punishes people who make a simple mistake, Thái said.
“People often remind each other to put their kickstands up if they come across someone who forgets it,” Thái said. “Why don’t we find ways to encourage this action?”
Others said motorbike-manufacturing firms should equip motorbikes with alarm whistles that go off when drivers forgot to put their kickstands up.
But until then, motorists will have to keep their eyes not only on the road, but also on their kickstands, lest they lose some money. --VNS