Vietnam metro plans to ban old motorbikes

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Ho Chi Minh City's Public Security Department has proposed that old, outdated motorbikes be banned from city streets as a measure to restrict road accidents and reduce air pollution.

According to the department, old motorbikes, which usually do not have lights, horns or license plates, are rampant in HCMC.

These motorbikes have caused many road accidents and been a source of air pollution, it said.

The old motorbikes are usually cheap ones that cost just VND2-3 million (US$96-144) each and are usually sold at motorbike repair shops. They are usually used to transport cumbersome cargo like rice, ice, soft drink bottles and gas tanks.

The department said traffic police have faced many difficulties in dealing with the old, outdated motorbikes when they cause accidents because in most of the cases, drivers leave the bikes behind and flee the scene. They are also not able to trace the bikes and their owners or drivers since they do not have license plates or have fake plates.

The HCMC Public Security Department has recently been allowed by the city government to make a draft regulation on establishing minimum standards for vehicles to be eligible for circulation and an "˜expiry date' beyond which bikes cannot be used.

Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Tran Thanh Tra, deputy head of the police unit in charge of roads and railways under the HCMC Public Security Department, said there are currently regulations targeting the duration of trucks and buses, so it is time motorbikes are subject to similar rules.

One of the main causes of traffic accidents is the "blind motorbike," whose origins are unknown and don't have license plates or have fake ones, Tra said.

 "Police fail to seize or detain these vehicles as there are currently no regulations on how old a motorbike should be in order to be banned from traveling on the street," he explained.

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