Saigon campaign against foreigners violating traffic laws underway

By Nguyen Quy   August 4, 2019 | 11:36 pm PT
Saigon campaign against foreigners violating traffic laws underway
Traffic police stop a foreign motorbike driver for paper check in Ho Chi Minh City, August 5, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Tan.
The Ho Chi Minh City police are set to crack down on violations of traffic laws by foreigners in a campaign starting August 16.

For two weeks before the start of the two-month campaign officers will apprise foreign tourists and expats about traffic rules. Foreigners will be let off with warnings for violations during the two-week period.

Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Binh of the Road-Railway Traffic Police Division said officers fluent in foreign languages would be deployed.

At a street corner in Ho Chi Minh City's central District 1 on Monday, police stopped three foreign motorbike drivers for paper check, but only two of them possessed a driving license. They were let go with a warning.

Last month the city police began a month-long campaign against DUI (driving under the influence), speeding, failure to wear crash helmets, street racing, and other violations in all 24 districts.

By the end of July they had dealt with more than 10,000 violations and slapped fines of nearly VND4 billion ($172,000).

The city received more than 4.2 million foreign tourists in the first half of this year, a 10 percent jump year-on-year. It expects 8.5 million to visit this year.

Data from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs shows the number of foreign employees in Vietnam increased from 63,557 in 2011 to 83,046 in 2016.

They were mostly from Asian countries like China, South Korea and Japan (73 percent), followed by Europe (21.6 percent) and North America (2.4 percent).

Around 80,000 foreigners had work permits as of last February, the ministry said.

Road crashes are a leading cause of death in Vietnam, killing almost one person every hour. More than 18,720 accidents occurred last year, killing 8,244 people and injuring nearly 14,800, according to the National Traffic Safety Committee.

Many bike rental services require foreign customers to only furnish their passports and not driving licenses.

Last February a foreign couple was filmed driving a motorbike at 100 kilometers per hour in the emergency lane meant for four-wheel vehicles on the Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway between HCMC and Dong Nai Province.

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