Zero tolerance

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The only practical solution to create a safer driving environment in Ho Chi Minh City is to begin confiscating the vehicles of blatant scofflaws.

Those who drive while drunk, on the sidewalks, in the wrong direction, through red lights, much too fast, turn dangerously, ignore crosswalk laws, use their vehicle to intimidate pedestrians utilizing crosswalks, and other egregious, dangerous or stupid maneuvers lose their vehicles instantly and forever. Additionally, those drivers will also lose their driving privileges indefinitely.

Bringing some order to the roads and sidewalks is also crucial for the tourism market. The most common negative comments about Vietnam I hear from other tourists are concerning the lack of safe pedestrian travel. Between the sidewalks being inaccessible because they are used as parking lots and the crosswalk laws being ignored by almost all vehicles, walking around HCMC is almost as dangerous as driving a motorbike.

Once the confiscations begin, and are publicized, I anticipate a stunning and immediate improvement in traffic safety, in the streets, crosswalks and on the sidewalks. I imagine that after a few thousand confiscations of cars, trucks, buses and motorbikes, HCMC will be an even more delightful city for both living and visiting.

All of the proceeds from the confiscated vehicles, when sold at market rates, could help fund the coming rapid transit system or the current bus subsidies.

Clifton Buck-Kauffman <>

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