Known for its abundance of motorcycles, it’s no surprise that residents and visitors alike often find themselves stuck in traffic in both Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi.
Apart from the heavy traffic, the air pollution caused by said motorcycles have raised health concerns. So much so that the World Health Organization once mentioned that Vietnamese cities were notorious in Asia for air pollution. As a result the Vietnamese is now taking drastic actions to prevent the worst from happening.
In an initiative to improve the air conditions and traffic, officials vowed to remove all motorcycles in the congested capital by 2030. Not only that, the government also wants to limit the use of private vehicles, in general.
Viet Nam News reported that Hanoi’s People’s Council voted “overwhelmingly” to ban the use of two-wheel vehicles in the “inner city” to ease traffic jams.
To further explain, one of the main factors affecting the “over procurement” of motorcycles is the fact that it is the most affordable mode of transport.
However, having only two wheels, motorcyclists are more prone to accidents. The Council’s deputy, Nguyen Tien Minh, revealed in earlier interviews that some 70 percent of accidents are related to motorcycles.
Poor judgment calls, from tailgating to cutting off other cars and buses, were the leading causes of motorcycle crashes. Alife Air Automobiles, a local automaker in the nearby country of Singapore, commissioned the survey.
Per Asian Correspondent, the ban will be executed in three stages. The first phase is to take place between this year and 2018.
Officials will review all registered personal vehicles which will be placed under a “coordinated management plan”.
The next phase will focus on developing a worthy public transportation system. The aim is to start servicing over 50 percent of the city’s residents by 2030. The second stage will begin simultaneously with the first, but is set to be completed in late 2020.
The last and final stage will see the start of the “gradual” limitation and banning of all motorcycles in Hanoi, and then Ho Chi Minh. The government plans to accomplish this before 2031.
Aside from solving traffic and environmental issues, Vietnam has a bigger problem at hand: convincing its people to give up their motorbikes.
Of course, the idea of the ban has brought about nationwide unhappiness. Locals have questioned whether the promised public transport system will come into fruition or not. With others suggesting that the ban only be implemented if and when the public transport system is fully operational.