Posted on 18 Aug 2016
In a bid to decrease pollution and lower accident statistics, Vietnam has set a 2025 target for banning motorcycles. The bustling, fast developing city is ahead of its region, and follows in the footsteps of our nearest French neighbours, who recently banned bikes manufactured before June 2000 from the streets of central Paris during a new 12 hour daytime weekday curfew, that began in July with the purpose of enforcing the Euro4 emissions bar.
The Hanoi government department of the environment claim that private vehicles (cars and motorcycles) are the number one cause of pollution as it was ranked as 'unhealthy to very unhealthy' by the Real Time Air Quality Index. The city plans to upgrade public transport over the coming years before the motorcycle ban takes place.
Hanoi residents might find it cheaper to put petrol in their motorcycles compared to taking the new public transport. Hanoi Trade & Industry Department want the public to start using bicycles but majority of citizens feel like bicycles are not safe compared to the motorised option.
According to World Health Organization, 14,000 people across the globe lose their lives in traffic accidents each year. Perhaps Vietnam should focus on imposing safer and stricter road laws and infrastructure before banning the motorcycle completely. Safety laws are loosely enforced as many members of the public still do not wear a helmet despite being mandatory.
The question raised by these developments in France and now Vietnam is: will British motorcyclists face similar restrictions as the UK moves to conform to EU statutes on decreased emissions levels?