Only 30 three-wheeled vehicles have been licenced to operate in Hà Nội, whereas up to 99 per cent of the remaining three-wheelers in the city are illegal, the Hà Nội Police Department says. — Photo vtv.vn
HÀ NỘI – Only 30 three-wheeled vehicles have been licenced to operate in Hà Nội, whereas up to 99 per cent of the remaining three-wheelers in the city are illegal, the Hà Nội Police Department says.
Three-wheel vehicles have been banned since 2008 due to safety risks. However, nine years later, they were still ubiquitous on many of the capital’s streets.
Đinh Văn Toản, deputy head of the city’s Police Department, said the city only allows army veterans to earn their living using self-modified vehicles. Only veterans on the list of the city’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs get permission.
On Cầu Giấy, Láng, Nguyễn Xiển, and Kim Mã streets, for example, self-modified vehicles can be seen carrying bulky goods, such as tables and chairs, aluminum, glass sheets and building materials. In fact, this is the key means of transport for construction in narrow alleys that trucks cannot access. Most of the vehicles, generally two metres long more than one metre wide, do not have license plates, rearview mirrors or horns.
According to a self-modified vehicle owner who wished to remain anonymous, learning to drive the vehicle was simple and there’s no need to attend driving centres. He said he knew about the ban, but had no other job.
The owner of an ice-making business in Nam Từ Liêm District’s Lê Đức Thọ Street said he invested VNĐ200 million (US$8,780) to make a self-modified vehicle and hired four young employees to drive it for ice deliveries to customers. He said it was convenient and economical to use the vehicle instead of a truck, and admitted that he had not registered it.
Nguyễn Minh Hương, a resident of Hà Nội’s Cầu Giấy District, said she tries to drive as far away as possible from any three-wheeled vehicle as most were driven carelessly. “They always carry bulky goods and seem to ignore all traffic lights or signals. I have seen a vehicle transporting long iron rods, and the driver drove as if he was the only one on the road,” she said.
The Hà Nội Police Department said it carried out inspections on three-wheeled vehicle between June 9 and 11 and seized 218 vehicles for violations.
Colonel Đào Vinh Thắng, head of the department’s Traffic Police Unit, told the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that at least 1,000 modified vehicles are operating on the roads although the police only granted licences to 30. He said the city plans to ban all these vehicles by 2018.
Bùi Danh Liên, chairman of Hà Nội Transport Association said that it was difficult to ban this vehicle due to high demand of consumers, who wished to choose cheaper, more convenient vehicle than trucks.
According to Liên, the self-modified vehicles cannot ensure safety. He suggested that the vehicles be put under tight control and that their design must be approved before assembling to ensure the safety of the engines and gas emissions. These vehicles should not be allowed to carry bulky goods at peak hours, he added.
Last year, the city police inspected more than 6,900 three-wheeled vehicles, issuing fines of about VNĐ2.7 billion ($118,530) and seizing 342 vehicles. – VNS