Large-displacement motorcycles under the spotlight after string of accidents

March 16, 2023 - 08:44
A female environmental worker was recently struck by a large-displacement motorcycle driver while on Thăng Long Boulevard in Hà Nội, resulting in a broken leg. The driver fled the scene.
Police seized dozens of large-displacement motorcycles on February 25 in HCM City. Photo

HÀ NỘI — Concerns have been raised regarding the awareness and compliance with the law among certain large-displacement motorcycle drivers in the wake of a string of series of incidents involving these powerful vehicles.

A female environmental worker was recently struck by a large-displacement motorcycle driver while on Thăng Long Boulevard in Hà Nội, resulting in a broken leg. The driver fled the scene.

In a separate incident on February 25, police in HCM City arrested 101 large-displacement motorcycle drivers who were illegally riding on a section of National Highway No 1 where motorcycles are prohibited. Of these drivers, four were found to be operating without a valid licence.

In November 2022, a large-displacement motorcycle fatally collided with a pedestrian in HCM City, and in August 2022, a collision between a large-displacement motorcycle and another motorcyclist caused one death and one injury in the central province of Quảng Trị.

Cù Văn Lý, a taxi driver, who operates on Võ Nguyên Giáp Street in Hà Nội's Đông Anh District where large-displacement motorcycles are often found, said he is often startled by large-displacement motorcycles with modified exhausts.

The high speeds at which these vehicles weave through the traffic make him uncomfortable.

“Around 11 o'clock at night, large-displacement motorcycles often ride into lanes where motorcycles are prohibited," he said. "They go very fast and swerve right in front of cars."

"Many of these riders do not wear helmets and drive late at night to avoid the police," he said.

As it is difficult to reach high speeds on inner-city streets, national highways and belt roads are a favourite for thrill seekers, causing nervousness among other road users.

He often sees large-displacement motorcycles along Thăng Long Boulevard.

Many have modified exhausts to increase the sound of the exhaust as well as high-power lights for their vehicles. They did not stop at red lights and have horns louder than a truck.

“It’s annoying,” he said.

A female environmental worker after being hit by a large-displacement motorcycle rider on Thăng Long Boulevard in Hà Nội.— Photo


A representative of the Traffic Police Office under the Hà Nội Police Department told the Voice of Việt Nam (VoV) online newspaper that there were currently some difficulties in handling violations related to large-displacement motorcycles.

These included the violations often happening late at night, stopping the vehicles can cause danger for both other road users and traffic police officers on duty, and traffic police not being equipped with sound-level metres to detect noise pollution, he said.

However, the department would deploy mobile police to address the situation, he said.

Raising road users' awareness was also important, he noted.

Khương Kim Tạo, former deputy chief of the National Traffic Safety Committee's Office, said most of the regulations and sanctions were currently applied to both large-displacement motorcycles and ordinary motorcycles.

However, he argued that higher penalties would be needed for large-displacement vehicles as they are potentially more dangerous than normal motorcycles.


Tạo said testing and issuing driving licences in terms of skills, awareness and attitudes of drivers must be strengthened, and technology needed to be applied in traffic management.

"When we have a complete traffic camera system, it is easy to strictly handle the violations, even if the violations occurred at night," he said.

Vũ Anh Tuấn, of the Hà Nội-based University of Transport, said that it was imperative to tighten the management of large-displacement motorcycle drivers.

Close supervision was required to avoid the phenomenon of illegally buying and selling driving licences of large-displacement motorcycles, he said.

"Motorcycles are now still not required for periodic registration, so it causes difficulties for authorities to impose fines for violations via traffic cameras," he said.

The Ministry of Transport should consider requiring two-wheeled vehicles to be periodically registered, he said.

Furthermore, areas where it is possible to ride large-displacement vehicles safely must also be considered.

Vũ Đình Lâm, Deputy Chairman of Hà Nội Motor Sports Club, said the role of professionally-organised groups was to hold more activities to raise awareness and driving skills for members.

In addition, large corporations specialising in the distribution of large-displacement vehicles should work with the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union and the National Traffic Safety Committee to carry out campaigns on safe driving aimed at young people, he said.

After Circular No 38/2013 of the transport ministry abolished the regulation on the limit of issuance of A2-class driving licences, the number of large-displacement motorcycle drivers increased rapidly.

Every year, it is estimated that about 5,000-7,000 large-displacement motorcycles are sold in Việt Nam.

Previously, the A2-class driving licence was only issued to police, traffic inspectors, forest rangers, and people working in the army and market watchdog force. — VNS