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Motorbikes that have been confiscated pile up as Vietnam deals with drunk driving  

Since cars are the main form of transportation in the country, some drivers are giving up on them since the fines exceed the value of the vehicles.  

Motorbike Impoundments: Economic Impact and Accumulation 

Motorbikes, the most common mode of transportation in Vietnam, are piling up in impound lots in Ho Chi Minh City as some owners find it more cost-effective to abandon them than to pay the fees necessary to get them returned. The city, which acts as Vietnam’s financial centre, has recently stepped up its efforts to prevent drunk driving by raising fines and seizing more vehicles. Officials claim that a large number of drivers are not picking up their cars because the fines are often higher than the car’s true value. Right now, the police don’t know what to do with them.  

Public Criticism of Ho Chi Minh City’s Traffic Policies 

Even though it can be risky to critique Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party, some residents are so incensed about this that they are speaking out about their issues. Motorbikes, according to 30-year-old Nguyen Khang, a bank employee in Ho Chi Minh City, were being held “hostage” by an inefficient and too strict system.”This is also understood by the appropriate authorities,” he went on. “But in general, they still haven’t discovered a more all-encompassing strategy.” The zero-tolerance policy against drunk driving is evocative of past, generally perceived as harsh initiatives to maintain public order in Vietnam, such as the expulsion of street vendors selling food from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.  

Urban development expert Hue-Tam Jamme believes that the abandoned motorcycles represent a change in the area. Bikes are becoming less required in a country notorious for its motorbike traffic as more Vietnamese individuals move into the middle class and buy their first cars. Official data from 2018 shows that although the number of cars per 100 households increased from 3.3 to 4.8 between 2018 and 2020, Vietnam’s car ownership rate is still far lower than that of wealthy countries.Even though cars only made up 13% of all vehicles on the road in Ho Chi Minh City in 2018, according to Professor Jamme’s data, their presence has already led to tensions on the streets. There have occasionally been incidents of violence between residents and drivers.  

Enforcement of Drunk Driving Laws: Fines and Vehicle Confiscations 

Professor Jamme, an Arizona State University professor who studies the role motorcycles play in Vietnamese economies and communities, said, “The motorbike is not the status symbol it used to be.”She said, “I’m not that surprised that people are ready to let go.” “A large, hefty fine could be the impetus to decide, ‘Okay, fine, I’m not even picking it up.'” In Vietnam, a four-year campaign against alcohol’s harmful effects has been a major factor in the recent nationwide impoundment of cars. Among other changes, the maximum fine for operating a vehicle while inebriated was almost raised to $300 in 2020—more than the average monthly salary of a worker in Vietnam. The law prohibits anyone from  

Impact of Anti-Alcohol Campaign on Traffic Safety and Enforcement 

The programme has shown noticeable improvements in a country where beer is abundantly available at street restaurants and binge drinking is common. According to the Ho Chi Minh City police, there were fewer traffic-related incidents, injuries, and fatalities in the previous year. In addition, tens of thousands of people lost their driver’s licences and the nation’s alcohol sales immediately dropped by at least a fifth.This month, a local police official revealed to state-run news outlets that over 155,000 vehicles—mostly motorbikes—were seized in Ho Chi Minh City in 2022, mostly as a result of traffic violations involving alcohol.Nguyen Huu Liem, 56, a construction worker in Ho Chi Minh City, stated that following ‘a little bit to drink’ in January, his licence and motorbike 



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