Over 400,000 drivers fined in month-long traffic crackdown

By Ba Do   June 17, 2020 | 05:00 pm PT
Over 400,000 drivers fined in month-long traffic crackdown
A truck driver is tested for alcohol on Hanoi-Hai Phong Expressway in northern Vietnam, May 15, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do.
A month-long traffic police campaign found a total of 401,027 drivers committing various violations, with 27,000 of them losing their driving licenses.

The campaign from May 15 to June 14 saw thousands of traffic police officers patrolling the streets in a nationwide crackdown, mainly to check drivers for drug and alcohol use.

Normally, officers can only stop a vehicle if its driver flouts some regulation, but the campaign allowed them to pull over anyone they wished.

The campaign had its roots in concerns over a spate of traffic violations following the lifting of Covid-19 social distancing restrictions in late April.

It netted 20,120 drivers driving under the influence of alcohol, despite the fact that a decree on preventing alcohol's harmful effects, which took effect on January 1, has introduced stiff penalties for drunk driving.

Other violations included driving without a license or vehicle registration documents (49,715 cases) and using drugs (276).

Vu Do Anh Dung, head of the Ministry of Public Security’s traffic police department, said officers only stopped one out of 10 vehicles for random checks in order not to hassle the public, but "it inevitably caused inconvenience."

Many people expressed annoyance at being stopped frequently despite not committing any violations and raised concerns about abuse of power by cops during the campaign.

Until mid-June this year there have been 6,780 traffic accidents in the country, down 19 percent year-on-year, and 3,235 deaths, down 15 percent.

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