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Old vehicles threaten road users

Update: January, 12/2019 - 09:00
An engineer inspects the undercarriage of an old truck. — VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Over 200,000 old automobiles ply the country’s roads though they are no longer licensed to do so, posing a threat to the community, without authorities finding a way to stop them.

There were 206,199 old vehicles as of January 1, according to the Việt Nam Register Department.

The law allows buses to be used for 20 years, trucks for 25 years.

“Out-of-date automobiles are widely used to transport agricultural, forestry and seafood products, and even as school buses in remote and mountainous areas because there are few authorities in such areas and they do not pay attention to the problem,” Khuất Việt Hùng, vice chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, told Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper.

Under current regulations, all out-of-date vehicles have to be taken off the road and their registration papers and number plates surrendered to relevant authorities.

Owners can physically keep their vehicles but not use them in public.               

But in practice only a small number of registration papers and plates have been surrendered and authorities do not know where most of them are.

HCM City has the largest number of out-of-date automobiles, with the owners of only 220 out of 3,142 automobiles surrendering their documents and plates as of 2017.

Since 2016 traffic inspectors have caught only one such vehicle on the streets.

The situation is similar in Đà Nẵng, with authorities finding only two out of 1,000 out-of-date automobiles in the last three years.

A HCM City Traffic Police spokesman said they often review the list of expired automobiles and call on owners to return their papers.

“However, it is a very difficult task because such vehicles are often sold repeatedly and it is hard to track down owners, besides many do not intend to turn in the papers to the authorities.”

Hùng said, “The solution is education, increasing awareness among the public and vehicle owners besides tightening inspections and slapping strict fines on violators.”

Asst Prof Dr Nguyễn Lê Ninh of the HCM City Fatherland Front Committee said: “The government should consider allowing owners to upgrade their vehicles, and then check them. If they meet safety standards, they could be used again."

This would ensure traffic safety and not cause losses to their owners and is appropriate for the current situation in Việt Nam, he added. — VNS

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