6 things Vietnamese do to swerve traffic fines

By VnExpress   January 23, 2017 | 11:21 am GMT+7

What tactic do you use when the traffic cops try and pull you over?

Escaping

Making a getaway is possibly the first choice for many drivers who do not want to pay a fine after being pulled over by traffic cops. Drivers show off their rallying skills as they speed off, but most are nabbed soon after. There have been instances of people driving straight into the officers, forcing them to jump onto the hood of the car. Last month Hanoi’s Traffic Police Department ordered its officers not to pursue, presumably in an attempt to protect their safety.

This video shows a police officer riding on the hood of a speeding taxi in Hanoi.

Arguing

Those with some knowledge of traffic laws will try to talk themselves out of a fine. They will cite rules and laws, as well as official statements reported in local media to defend themselves or question the officers’ approach. This can either make the officers laugh or create more tension.

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Begging

Some people can come up with thousands of reasons to beg for sympathy: visiting someone in hospital, being new to the city... In one case in 2013, a young woman was on her knees and bowing to the officers to beg them to let her go. She was caught after driving with two others on one motorbike and attempting to flee.

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Calling a VIP

It’s not rare for traffic violators to try to call someone influential to help them. The method has been used so often that Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh earlier this month ordered an end to it, saying it has made police officers look powerless, and that officers who let an offender go just because he/she knows someone important should also be fined.

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Pretending

Instead of calling an important person, many people will act like one. They will impersonate government officials, journalists, etc. to avoid a fine. A man in Hanoi once used a fake press card after being pulled over but was immediately busted.

Some people also pretend to be foreign, believing that the confusion will prompt the officers to just let them go. In one case in 2014, a 20-year-old woman, pictured below, started speaking Korean after being pulled over in the central province of Quang Binh. However, after accidentally dropping her Vietnamese ID card, she cried and begged – in Vietnamese. She was driving a motorbike without a driving license.

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Offering bribes

Once all else fails, violators will try to let their money talk. Instead of receiving a ticket and paying a fine later to retrieve their papers, some people are willing to pay a bribe. In May last year, a group of ivory smugglers tried to bribe police officers in the northern province of Bac Giang VND500 million ($22,170). The officers turned it down and were later given a reward of VND16 million.

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