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Illegal headlamps cause traffic safety concerns

Update: February, 21/2019 - 08:00
Bright LED headlamps on a car threaten to impair the vision of oncoming drivers and cause accidents. - Photo vov.vn
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY – Substandard motorbike and car headlamps pose a danger to other drivers, but traffic police are unable to deal with the growing problem because there are no regulations on sanctions for people who install or drive with excessively bright lights, Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper reports.

Rather than issuing fines, traffic police are only supposed to require the drivers to replace the offending lamps.

Major Võ Ngọc Vương, head of the Biên Hòa City traffic police in Đồng Nai Province, said his team had found many vehicles with LED lamps installed as tail lights over the last year.

"In the last few months of 2018, we sanctioned 26 drivers of cars with LED lamps installed on the back,” Vương said.

“There was also a case in which we fined a driver VNĐ900,000 (US$39) and revoked the driving license for 60 days.”

However, Vương said the decree on administrative sanctions for road traffic did not address cases in which LEDs were installed as headlamps.

"I know the Việt Nam Register has issued regulations on cars with substandard lamps but recently I have seen more and more cars with them," said Phan Văn Hùng, a driver from HCM City. 

Many vehicles from cars to coaches, trucks and motorcycles have LED lamps, particularly in residential areas and highways.

On social networks and in auto shops, there are many opinions about the situation. Many people oppose the installation of the lights because they can reduce visibility for oncoming traffic.

“On highway 80 from Đồng Tháp to Vĩnh Long Province, I crashed into an accident that happened before because a car coming the opposite direction had LED lamps,” driver Nguyễn Khắc Duy told zing.vn. “Fortunately nobody was hurt.”

Some people believe the additional lights should be permitted. On sections of highway without street lights, drivers often struggle to see at night. Many cars come equipped with low-intensity lighting systems, leading drivers to swap them for LEDs.

But with the possibility to cause fatal accidents, drivers should consider the consequences of installing LED lamps before thinking about the benefits.

Bulbs of unclear origin can also be of poor quality and even cause electric shocks, according to Duy Khánh, a member of an auto club.

An official from a registration centre in Đồng Nai Province said that in 2018, the Việt Nam Register (VR) asked its branches nationwide to increase technical safety examinations of vehicles, particularly vehicles that have substandard lamps installed as headlights and taillights.

Vehicles that fail to meet safety standards will not be registered.

But VR officials have found few violations because car owners often remove any additional lamps before going to registration centres, the official said.

According to him, localities should strengthen vehicle checks and supply registration centres with a list of vehicles found to have extra LED lights installed so the centres can revoke their registrations.

According to lawyer Trương Tiến Dũng from Đồng Nai Province’s Bar Association, with the current rate of traffic accidents, agencies should increase inspections and force vehicle owners to remove additional accessories, or confiscate them if the owner does not comply.

Legal regulations need to be revised to suit reality, Dũng said. – VNS

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