Stop making so much NOISE!

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I have noticed one vexing thing during my recent visits to my birthplace, Saigon (I have returned 20 times to Vietnam) the noise level in public places is increasing every day. It is even more annoying that the noise is made for no reason at all: motorbikes honking their horns just for the sake of honking; and taxi drivers honking to urge the vehicle in front of them to move even before the traffic light turns green. And the trucks are outfitted with special horns that sound like explosions.

Then there is loud music from coffee shops and street vendors. I surmise that by playing loud music they hope to attract customers, but in my opinion, the noise will only drive customers away.

Authorities can easily control this nuisance, but the problem, I think, lies with enforcement. Just a little bit of bribe here and there and the offenders are let go and the problem persists. Banners proclaiming that Vietnam is moving toward a modern society are displayed everywhere, but here is one of the direct impediments in the way.

Unless the noise pollution is controlled, Vietnam will still be looked upon as a backward country. In a modern society horns are only used to gently tell the driver in front of you to pay attention to the road, traffic lights, in case of emergency, or in rare instances, to indicate annoyance or rage (anger). Can we do that in Vietnam?

Toi Dang

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