Vietnam police allay concern over vehicle commandeering, promise no abuse of rule

By Thai Son, Thanh Nien News

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A traffic police officer in Hanoi. Photo: Thai Son A traffic police officer in Hanoi. Photo: Thai Son
The Ministry of Public Security has assured that police officers will not abuse a regulation that allows them to requisition private vehicles to complete urgent tasks, amid an unusual debate regarding a rule that has been in place for four years. 
Major General Tran The Quan of the ministry told local media that the rule is constitutional, even though some critics have argued against it over the past weeks.
He added that "requisitioning is complicated and will not be made randomly" and that it also has to be approved, at least verbally, by the Public Security Minister.
Earlier the ministry renewed a 2012 circular that includes the now controversial rule. It started making headlines and many people expressed their concern over the policy which apparently they had not been aware of for several years. 
Nguyen Huu Danh, deputy director of the ministry's Traffic Police Department, said many people thought the regulation is unlawful and can be abused by police officers. He rejected the allegations. 
Vehicles can only be requisitioned in urgent cases "for the protection of national security and social order,” he said.
Danh said people should not confuse requisitioning, which is very rare, with police seeking help from civilians. 
“We have sometimes asked a car to take an injured person to hospital or garbage truck to clear trash on the street that threatens traffic safety. That is mobilization, not requisition,” he added.

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