|Two men push an old car on a city street. Cars and trucks with expired registrations are still running on the nation’s roads, ignoring regulations and sidestepping efforts from authorised agencies. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngọc Hà|
HÀ NỘI – Cars and trucks with expired registrations have stayed on Việt Nam’s roads, despite the efforts of authorities.
The long-standing problem has prompted public concern over traffic safety, environmental pollution and transport businesses, the Hải Quan (Customs) newspaper reported.
Some vehicles with expired registrations have been involved in recent traffic accidents.
An accident last year on the Hồ Chí Minh Highway in Thanh Hóa Province that left nine dead and five injured is an example.
One of the two cars involved in the accident had a registration three years out of date.
The accidents raised alarms about inadequate law enforcement when it comes to vehicles that are not road legal.
According to the Việt Nam Vehicle Registration Agency, at the end this year, 23,075 cars’ registrations would expire, 3,000 of which were normal people’s cars with more than 20,000 being trucks.
In 2015, the registration agency estimated that nearly 16,500 cars’ registrations expired.
The law stipulates that vehicles used for transporting goods cannot be used more than 25 years after being made. The time limit for buses is 20 years.
At the end of a vehicle’s legal life, car owners are supposed to go to their local registration offices so that the paperwork can be revoked and the car destroyed.
Officials rely on a car owner’s goodwill to turn their cars in.
Car owners don’t want their cars to be destroyed and they don’t want to buy new ones. The fines for breaking the law are only VNĐ4-6 million (US$187 - $280), according to a decree issued in 2013.
Most of vehicles were old, did not meet registration requirements any more, and should not be the road, the agency’s deputy director Nguyễn Hữu Trí told the Hải Quan (Customs) newspaper.
To avoid being caught by traffic police, the vehicles were usually used for carrying passengers and cargo in remote areas, with some vehicles only being driven at night.
“To avoid being caught, many car owners avoid regular check-ups or sell their expired cars to those who can use them in mountainous and rural areas where inspections tend to be less common”, Trí said.
“The expired cars pose hidden threats to everyone”, he said.
“The expired trucks are used for carrying oversized and overloaded cargos so these vehicles damage roads”, he said.
Discussing the problem, Nguyễn Trọng Thái, senior official of the National Safe Traffic Committee said that blame lay with the vehicles’ owners.
“It is an obvious violation of safety traffic regulations by the vehicle’s owners”, he said.
The lack of management from concerned agencies was also a problem, he added.
Bùi Danh Liên, President of Hà Nội Transport Associtaion, said “the vehicles which had expired registrations were not difficult to spot by authorised agencies”.
“In my opinion, this is loose management at local levels”, he said.
In fact, the Vietnam Registration Agency asked registration affiliates nationwide to provide lists of expired registrations to traffic polices, transport departments and transport inspection of all cities and provinces, but the work has not been effective.
This was because many vehicles were used in remote areas where there were few traffic police.
The inadequate law enforcement, especially at the local level, was among the reasons why such a large number of expired vehicles were still on the road.
“Therefore, in a recent instruction by the Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on dealing with the expired registration vehicles, heads of localities from communes to provincial levels had to take responsible for controlling the vehicles’ in their areas”, Thái told the newspaper. – VNS