According to high-ranking police officers, violations of road traffic regulations are to blame for the negligence and ignorance of road traffic regulations
Major Dang Duc Minh of the People’s Police Academy said at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday that there are about 500 accidents involving foreigners each year, many of which end in death.
Most of the perpetrators are residents of South Korea, China and Laos.
Many foreigners violate speed limits, drive through red lights, wear no helmets and drive without a driver’s license, he said.
Nguyen Van Thach, head of the Road Safety Department at the Ministry of Transport, said motorcycle rental services are also responsible for increasing traffic violations. At the moment, foreign tourists have the right to rent motorcycles without a driver’s license.
The authorities of Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s leading tourist destination, have expressed their determination to fight road traffic violators. Their goal is to protect the image of the tourism industry.
Police have caught 40 foreigners for traffic violations and seized 28 motorcycles in a two-week campaign against foreigners who violate traffic regulations, which began August 16.
Police said the main obstacle to communicating with foreign offenders is the language barrier. One offence usually takes 60-80 minutes to complete.
The largest fine levied on a traffic offender during the campaign was 2.5 million VND (107 USD).
Colonel Huynh Trung Phong, head of the city’s Railway Police Department, said the violations are damaging to the tourist image of the city and the country.
In the first eight months of this year, three foreign tourists died in an accident, 25% less than a year ago, Fong added.
All violations by foreigners will be thoroughly investigated and local authorities will tighten control over motorcycle rentals. In addition, the city is considering the possibility of distributing leaflets with traffic rules for foreigners, which they will receive on arrival.
Data from the Ministry of Labour, Disabled Persons and Social Affairs show that the number of foreign workers in Viet Nam increased from 63,557 in 2011 to 83,046 in 2016.
Ho Chi Minh City is the leading tourist destination in Vietnam, with more than 4.2 million foreign tourists recorded in the first half of this year. This is 10% more than in the same period last year. It is expected that 8.5 million people will visit Ho Chi Minh City this year.
Traffic accidents are the main cause of death in Vietnam, with at least one person dying on the roads every hour. According to the National Road Safety Committee, more than 9,000 traffic accidents occurred in the first half of this year, killing almost 4,100 people and injuring more than 7,000.
Source: VnExpress. Translation: Anna Boyko.