Traffic police in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang are no longer allowed to use cell phones while on duty in a move designed to prevent well-connected violators from receiving preferential treatment.
Vo Thanh Thien, deputy head of the province's road and railway traffic police, said in a Tuoi Tre report from Tuesday that the order aims to keep traffic officers from receiving phone calls from influential people asking them to release traffic violators with whom they have personal ties.
Thien said the ban was handed down by the provincial police director.
The officers now use walkie-talkies instead.
Transport minister Dinh La Thang on April 3 also banned officials from the ministry from using their positions to intervene in the enforcement of traffic laws.
Apparently, there has been a campaign to improve the image of traffic police in Vietnam, where the force is the country's most corrupt institution as found by a World Bank-funded survey last November.
Ho Chi Minh City police are trying to better the behavior of traffic police officers on duty by holding classes on how to deal with the public.
In Hanoi, several measures have been taken to improve the public image of traffic cops, including assigning female officers to patrol congested streets during rush hour and reassigning pot-bellied policemen to desk jobs.
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