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Old vehicles in HCMC to be removed to address air pollution

HCMC is mapping out a plan to control vehicle emissions on a trial basis from January 2020, aiming to terminate old transport vehicles to reduce air pollution in the city.

 

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A man carries bulky goods on an old motorcycle on Hai Thuong Lang Ong Street in HCMC’s District 5. The city has a plan to terminate aging transport vehicles to reduce gas emissions and air pollution – PHOTO: THANH NIEN

 

 

The city has been encountering increasingly poor air quality in the second half of the year. Air monitoring results from the Air Visual and PAM Air apps showed that the air quality index has skyrocketed, which means the ambient air is most polluted, especially in the early morning and late afternoon when the number of vehicles commuting through the city reaches its peak.

Some 37 sites suffering poor air quality are all traffic congestion hotspots, such as Huynh Tan Phat-Nguyen Van Linh, An Suong and Binh Phuoc intersections. The municipal Department of Transport noted that transport activities account for 50% of emissions in the city.

Data from the transport department showed that the number of active motorcycles in the city exceeded 8.1 million units as of the first half of the year, which is nearly tenfold higher than the number of automobiles and accounts for 90% of HCMC’s vehicles.

Motorcycles in Vietnam have also worsened the air quality as they are only subject to the EURO 2 vehicle emissions standards.

Many Cub 50, Honda Dream and Wave motorcycles have been in use for tens of years and many of them have been modified to transport bulky goods. Drivers of these old motorbikes, which are being sold at low prices starting from VND2-3 million at local garages, often drive recklessly and break traffic laws.

An HCMC traffic policeman said that it is easy to spot old motorbikes without lights or license plates in the city. Many traffic accidents have involved these vehicles.

However, local traffic police could not confiscate these vehicles due to the absence of regulations on service life or regulations on emissions limits and control.

Accordingly, the city’s Transport Department and local motorcycle manufacturer associations are working on a pilot plan to control old motorcycles in the city. They will suggest measures to the municipal government, so it can issue policies on controlling emissions from motorcycles.

The plan is viewed as an initial step forward to gradually raise local awareness of vehicle emissions control, said a representative of the transport department.

Earlier, the city had planned to eliminate substandard motorcycles from its transport network. In 2012, police obtained approval from the municipal government to draft regulations on the service life of motorcycles, including electric vehicles. However, the draft faced objections from the public and was short-lived. SGT

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