Official faces dismissal for lewd traffic advice

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Traffic safety leaflets distributed among students featured crude sexual humor

The traffic signs with a sexual narration that were distributed to students in Kien Giang Province in the Mekong Delta

The traffic signs, all of them legitimate, tell an overtly sexual story.

A man is riding a bicycle (bicycle sign) and sees a supine girl (speed bump sign looking like breasts). They chase each other (roundabout sign) until she agrees (slippery section). First, she spreads one leg (narrow section on the left) and then the other (narrow section on both sides) and then, "I am in" (zigzag section).

Other traffic signs take the story further.

"She praised my size (sign showing maximum height of 3.1 meters) and weight (maximum load of 5.4 tons);" "after many ins and outs" (two-way street signs), "we changed position and speed" (maximum speed signs).

"After nine months, she made a call from the hospital" (hospital sign); "the land collapsed beneath my feet (landslide warning); now "I am a father" (children crossing street)"¦.

One of the thousands of illustrated jokes that typically do the rounds through mass emailing found its way last September into leaflets 50,000 of them meant to promote traffic safety awareness among students, aged six to 18, in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang.

Many people were not amused, however, least of all the students' parents.

Parents of students studying in Chau Thanh, Tan Hiep, Kien Luong and Giong Rieng districts complained to the authorities who promptly revoked the leaflets and launched an investigation.

In the hot seat was Nguyen Van Chanh, director of the provincial Transport Department, who now faces dismissal from his post.

The chief inspector of Kien Giang's Department of Information and Communications, Le Viet Hai, said in a statement on September 14 that Chanh had directly approved the content of the leaflets.

Chanh had not asked for approval from Hai's department as regulations require, he said.

Nguyen Van Phuong, an official with the Kien Giang Traffic Safety Committee of which Chanh is the deputy head, said that he had taken the signs and their narration from a blog. Earlier, the Kien Giang Traffic Safety Committee had terminated the contract with Phuong for his role in the imbroglio.

For his part, Chanh said he had not read the signs' explanation because the characters were too small and blurred. He also said that the previous practice was to use designs produced by the National Traffic Safety Committee for such leaflets, but this time, they had to make their own because there was no available design from the central agency.

The Kien Giang Party Unit's Inspection Committee said Chanh had failed to scrutinize the leaflet and therefore, had acted irresponsibly. Chanh was also found to have failed to ask for permission for printing 122,000 leaflets (approved under a plan to promote the traffic safety month in September) and for signing a contract with Rach Soi Printing Enterprise that was not licensed to use a color offset printer.

The Kien Giang Province Party Unit's Inspection Committee on Monday (May 9) issued an official rebuke to Chanh and proposed his dismissal to the Kien Giang People's Committee, the local government.

The revoked leaflets have been destroyed.

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