PM wants old motorbikes off the streets

Update: January, 21/2021 - 18:32

An old motorcycle carrying construction material on Hà Nội's street. — VNA/VNS Photo Đăng Sơn

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has asked the Ministry of Transport to work with localities to take old motor vehicles that do not meet circulation standards off the roads.

Exhaust emissions from old and raggedy motorbikes have been blamed as one of the causes of air pollution and safety risks in big cities such as Hà Nội and HCM City.

Data from the Hà Nội People's Committee shows there are more than 5.7 million motorcycles in use in the city, nearly half of which are old motorcycles manufactured before the year 2000.

There are more than 730,000 cars and many vehicles from other provinces that regularly travel into the city, causing a great deal of pollution.

Motorbikes also account for 80-90 per cent of the total carbon monoxide and high hydrocarbon and 50 per cent of the total nitrogen oxide emitted from all road motor vehicles.

Old motor vehicles emit much greater levels of toxic gases than those that are maintained periodically.

These pollutants greatly affect the quality of the urban air environment and directly affect people's health.

In 2010, then Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng issued a project to control motorcycle emissions in cities across the country.

From September 2020, Hà Nội has also implemented a pilot project on emission measurement and support.

Under this programme, the owners of motorbikes more than 18 years old that do not meet emission standards can claim from VNĐ2-4 million to buy a new vehicle.

This funding will be provided by the Việt Nam Motorcycle Manufacturers Association.

But so far it has not been implemented since such a move requires some social costs and administrative procedures that are not specified in the law, according to the Hà Nội Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

According to traffic experts, gas emission checks for motorbikes are necessary but need a specific roadmap.

Nguyễn Văn Phương, deputy head of Motor Vehicle Quality Division under the Việt Nam Register, said the Government has only issued regulations on periodic inspections for cars but not motorbikes. The country also lacks regulations stipulating the maximum lifespan of motorcycles.

Therefore, there are no specific statistics on the state of old motorbikes across the country, Phương told Lao Động (Labour) newspaper.

Recovering old motorbikes is not easy because it is the property of the people, so it is necessary to build a complete legal corridor, according to Phương.

In many countries, motorbikes are managed by technical requirements and tariffs on old motorcycles are very high, experts said.

Việt Nam should also control outdated vehicles through emissions inspection, they said.

Along with that, the Government and manufacturers need to offer financial mechanisms and policies to support vehicle owners. — VNS