Traffic police should be allowed to fire on fleeing vehicles: senior police official

By Ba Do   August 16, 2016 | 12:39 am PT
Police would have the right to take aim at vehicles under a wider range of circumstances.

The Traffic Police Department has asked the National Assembly to revise the firearms ordinance so that traffic officers will be given the power to open fire in dangerous circumstances, Major General Tran Son Ha said at the launch of a major traffic operation on Monday.

“The revision to the ordinance will support police use of firearms to ensure public order and safety,” said the director of the Traffic Police Department.

Ha cited an example of a truck that crashed into thousands of people on the streets of Hanoi during a police chase to justify the suggestion.

“It may be too late if police officers have to wait for an order to open fire,” said Ha.

“This must become law so that traffic police no longer have to ask for approval before pulling the trigger.


Traffic police fire three warning shots in pursuit of a vehicle, a video clip shows.

Last year, a police officer fired three warning shots during a routine traffic stop in Hai Duong, 58 kilometers east of Hanoi. Police had asked the driver to pull over to check if his vehicle was overloaded, but the driver tried to flee. Traffic police gave chase in their squad car, and during the pursuit, a police officer fired three shots into the air. He police was subsequently suspended from going on routine patrols.

It is virtually unheard of in Vietnam for traffic police to fire at moving vehicles, so the incident raised public concern about police abuse of power.

Vietnam's ordinance on firearms says that police officers may shoot to kill under guidelines signed by the Minister of Police.

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