Le Hong from the Ministry of Justice discussed the Transport Minister's proposal to destroy motorbikes used for illegal racing in an interview with Dat Viet (Viet Land) newspaper.
What do you think about the feasibility of destroying motorbikes that are used in illegal races?
We need to formulate a series of regulations and take into account ownership rights. If a motorbike belongs to an illegal racer, then it should be subject to the new regulations, but in cases where racers are using vehicles that do not belong to them, ownership rights must be taken into consideration. If owners intentionally loan their vehicles for the purpose of illegal racing, they deserve to be punished. However, it's often difficult to establish if this is the case, so we need to establish a clear set of regulations to deal with violations of differing severity.
Some people say that seized vehicles should be auctioned with the profits going to the State budget, while others say the vehicles should be destroyed. What is your opinion?
First of all, I want to say that it's racers who violate law, not the vehicle. The vehicle becomes evidence if it's involved in an illegal race, but it's still useful for other purposes. I don't agree with the idea of destroying seized vehicles.
I understand that the proposal aims to tackle illegal racing, a matter that has been of public concern for a long time. However, we need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture to avoid imposing hasty sanctions that could infringe on ownership rights. It is not as simple as seizing the vehicle and then destroying it. Sanctions need to be in line with a law-governed democratic country.
What will happen if the proposal is approved?
If the proposal becomes law, then other related regulations regarding ownership and property destruction are likely to take effect. A product must be destroyed if it is deemed harmful to society such as narcotics and pirate CDs, or if it no longer has any value. There are regulations in place to tackle traffic violations, but none specifically designed to tackle illegal racing. However, imagine what a waste it would be to destroy perfectly roadworthy motorbikes.
Why don't you think destroying vehicles would be an effective way of tackling illegal racing?
I think if you put it into context, the majority of vehicles used for illegal racing can always be put to use elsewhere. It seems a bit extreme to destroy vehicles when they can be used for other purposes.
To solve this problem, stricter punishment is needed to deter would-be racers, and improved awareness and prevention are also important. Prevention and detection should be given priority. A policy cannot be effective if 10 illegal races take place but only one perpetrator is caught and punished. Like the death sentence for criminals, destroying a vehicle should be the last resort. — VNS