Vietnam metro police drive camera to catch violations

By Dam Huy, Thanh Nien News

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A taxi driver jumps to move his car to avoid being recorded for illegal parking as two police officers approach with a camera (left) in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Dam Huy  
Traffic police in Ho Chi Minh City have been bringing cameras around to catch violations for later punishment, saying the method has effectively made drivers behave.
The officers wear uniforms but drive normal scooters instead of their special big motorbikes to avoid attention. The one sitting pillion carries the camera, which is installed a speed meter.
Two officers recorded more than ten violations of parking at the wrong place and driving in the wrong direction or banned roads in one hour in the city downtown as Thanh Nien newspaper reporter observed last week.
Around one minute footage is enough an evidence, so many drivers only realized them being filmed when it was done.
A coordinator of a taxi firm noticed its drivers parking illegally along Le Duan Street in District 1, and they quickly ran their cars away, but there’s usually not enough time.
Parking violations are fined VND300,000-800,000 (US$14-38) while speeding VND2-8 million plus one to two months license revoke.
A senior officer said the patrols were launched in 2013 and the number of parking and road encroaching violations has dropped by 70 percent.
The officer said the method of catching violations on camera for later punishment was used first a long time ago, but then the violators did not show up for payment when summoned.
So the traffic police officers recently started to be equipped with the database of the violating vehicles and would stop them on the street and demand payment before letting them go.
“Since then, more violators caught on the camera have shown up when summoned,” he said.

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