Hanoi vows to eliminate 2.5 million old, polluting motorbikes
VietNamNet Bridge - The Hanoi authorities are trying to recall 2.5 million old motorbikes which discharge harmful substances to the environment. However, observers don’t think the solution is feasible. 


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Hanoi has 6 million motorbikes and nearly 1 million cars of different kinds. These include 2.5 million motorbikes in use for many years, many of which were made in the 1990s.

Reports all say that the motorbikes seriously pollute the air and harm people’s health. A survey of the HCMC University of Technology showed that the volume of fuel that motorbikes consume is 92 times higher than buses, while the average emission is four times higher than cars and 40 times higher than buses.

The volume of fuel that motorbikes consume is 92 times higher than buses, while the average emission is four times higher than cars and 40 times higher than buses.

Nguyen Minh Dong, director of Duc Viet Automobile Technology Consultancy, said every 100cc Euro 2 motorbike produces toxic emissions hundreds of times higher than a 1800cc Euro 5 car.

Japanese scientists from Kanazawa University said motorbikes with old technology cannot burn up fuel and discharge toxic substances to the environment, mostly hydrocarbon. 

Old motorbikes also cause high percentage of traffic accidents. The survey by the National Traffic Council in 2015 showed the relation between the number of accidents and the mileage of vehicles. The vehicles used for one to five years cause fewer accidents than the ones used for six to 10 years.

While cars must undergo periodic examination at registration centers, motorbikes don’t have to bear any kind of control.
 
According to the Vietnam Register (VR), from January 1, 2018, expired motorbikes and cars of different kinds will be eliminated from circulation.

However, it is still unclear what ‘expired vehicles’ means. Legal documents only stipulate usable durations for trucks (no more than 25 years in circulation) and passenger carrying vehicles (no more than 20 years). 

This means that from January 1, 2018, this would only be applied to trucks and passenger-carrying vehicles, not to cars and motorbikes as there is still no regulation on these kinds of vehicles.

Observers said that it would be still possible to prevent substandard cars from joining circulation thanks to the periodic examination requirement. If cars cannot meet standards, car owners will be required to have cars repaired.

But it will be difficult to recall motorbikes as they remain the major means of transport for Hanoians. Most old motorbikes are owned by medium- and low-income earners. If their motorbikes are revoked, they will not have transport. Public transport is still limited.

Ten years ago, the Ministry of Transport intended to set the maximum circulation duration for motorbikes (8 years, or 100,000 kilometers). However, the plan faced strong opposition from the public and has been delayed for an indefinite time.
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Tran Thuy

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