Vietnam cops to snag street racers with "fishnet guns'

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Thanh Hoa traffic police officers using fishnet in an attempt to snag two motorbikes violating the Traffic Law

The Thanh Hoa traffic police are working to improve the fishing nets they use to stop illegal street motorbike racers.

Lieutenant Colonel My Duy Xuan, chief of the town traffic police, said they are finalizing a "fishnet launcher," which looks like a gun, before beginning mass production.

In October 2011 the Thanh Hoa police started flinging fishing nets at the rear wheels of traffic violators who ignored orders to pull over. The controversial measure was suspended last March before being revived recently to stop illegal street racers during Christmas time.

"The new launcher is expected to be more effective in stopping illegal racers driving at any speed," Xuan said.

According to Xuan, the police will continue to fling fishnets at the rear wheels of street racers and the nets too have been improved.

"We fold the net and use specialized lead weights to make the flinging easier and more accurate as well as force the bike to decelerate slowly and not in a sudden manner like before," he said.

He said the town police seized ten motorbikes and dispersed two groups of illegal street racers on Christmas Eve.

Xuan said the trial use of fishnet by traffic police will only be taken against illegal street racers and at night.

Police said the measure is effective and should not be misunderstood as a dangerous or weird way to tackle street racing.

Colonel Le Van Nghiem, the Thanh Hoa police chief, said most of the people who were opposed to the method had the mistaken notion that the police were throwing the nets over the heads of motorists.

He said street racing has increased over the past several years in Thanh Hoa, with groups of youngsters who do not wear helmet and perform tricks or race on the streets at night.

Many residents do not dare to go out at night and many racers have recklessly crashed into the traffic police when fleeing, he said.

Between January and March last year, the police seized more than 200 motorbikes in illegal street races thanks to the use of the nets.

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