Cars made from tractors are illegally on the roads

Self-modified vehicles that were banned in 2008 on grounds of traffic safety and environmental pollution are still being used nationwide because of a lack of affordable alternatives as well as poor enforcement. - VNS Photo Doan Tung

Self-modified vehicles that were banned in 2008 on grounds of traffic safety and environmental pollution are still being used nationwide because of a lack of affordable alternatives as well as poor enforcement. - VNS Photo Doan Tung

People have been changing little tractors into cars that drive on the road.

They are not supposed to do this.

In fact, five years ago the Government said such cars would not be allowed on the road.

However, people do not seem to be worried about the law and still drive these cars on the roads.

HA NOI (VNS) — Nearly 10,000 self-modified and three-wheeled vehicles ply the roads nationwide, despite their being banned in 2008, the Ministry of Transport said on Friday.

It said the banned vehicles were in frequent use in Ha Noi’s suburban districts of Phu Xuyen, Ung Hoa and Chuong My, as well as provinces like Hoa Binh, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Dak Lak, Hau Giang and Long An.

In the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, for example, some 5,000 unregistered and manually driven mini tractors were being used in agricultural production.

Many owners had modified their vehicles’ steeringmechanism by replacing their shafts without permission from relevant authorities, according to the province’s Department of Transport.

The province had organised classes to help procure driving licences, but only two to three per cent of the total owners of such vehicles passed the theory andpractical examinations, a representative from the province’s Department of Transport revealed.

Tran Van Toan, a 54-year-old owner of a three-wheeled vehicle in Tu Liem District, said that he had continued to drive the vehicle because this was his only means of income that helped him feed his 5-member family residing in northern Hung Yen Province.

Toan added that he had already heard about the financial support packages announced for vehicle owners, but had not received any such package so far.

“However, even if I am given such support, VND5 million (US$230) will surely neither help me set up a business nor buy another vehicle,” he said.

According to the Viet Nam Register, the country is yet to establish any standards for motor vehicles, so self-modified vehicles’ quality cannot be verified.

Therefore, last week the Ministry of Transport was urged to formulate regulations regarding the issue soon.

In addition to the shortcomings in policies and poor enforcement of rules, Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho blamed the prevalence of such vehicles on the lack of other suitable options meant to replace these banned vehicles.

Mini trucks recommended to replace modified vehicles had been found suitable for running in the delta, but not mountainous areas, he pointed out.

In 2007, the Government had decided to ban and seize self-modified vehicles across the country to ease the growing traffic jams and reduce the number of accidents.

To help poor residents who operate these vehicles to earn a living, the government announced incentives and support measures two years later that would help these individuals find new jobs or buy other kinds of vehicles to replace their banned ones.

Accordingly, each family, which had two or more three and four-wheeled vehicles, will receive $230 per vehicle as assistance. — VNS

GLOSSARY

Nearly 10,000 self-modified and three-wheeled vehicles ply the roads nationwide, despite their being banned in 2008, the Ministry of Transport said on Friday.

If a vehicle is self-modified, it has had work done to it to change it by the owner rather than by a professional mechanic or engineer.

Vehicles that ply a road travel along them often.

If something is banned it is declared illegal.

It said the banned vehicles were in frequent use in Ha Noi’s suburban districts of Phu Xuyen, Ung Hoa and Chuong My, as well as provinces like Hoa Binh, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Dak Lak, Hau Giang and Long An.

Suburban districts are the areas of cities which have people houses rather than factories and formal businesses.

In the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, for example, some 5,000 unregistered and manually driven mini tractors were being used in agricultural production.

If a vehicle is not registered, it is not on the government’s books.

A manually driven vehicle has gears that must be changed by hand, unlike vehicles that have automatic gear systems.

Many owners had modified their vehicles’ steeringmechanism by replacing their shafts without permission from relevant authorities, according to the province’s Department of Transport.

A vehicle’s steering mechanism is its steering wheel as well as the parts that connect it to the wheels.

The province had organised classes to help procure driving licences, but only two to three per cent of the total owners of such vehicles passed the theory andpractical examinations, a representative from the province’s Department of Transport revealed.

To procure a licence means to get a licence.

Tran Van Toan, a 54-year-old owner of a three-wheeled vehicle in Tu Liem District, said that he had continued to drive the vehicle because this was his only means of income that helped him feed his 5-member family residing in northern Hung Yen Province.

A means of income is a way of earning money to live.

Toan added that he had already heard about the financial support packages announced for vehicle owners, but had not received any such package so far.

Financial support packages are special deals to help people by making money available to them.

According to the Viet Nam Register, the country is yet to establish any standards for motor vehicles, so self-modified vehicles’ quality cannot be verified.

If the records of a vehicle is checked to see that it has been through what it takes to make it good enough to be on the roads, its quality is verified.

Therefore, last week the Ministry of Transport was urged to formulate regulations regarding the issue soon.

To formulate regulations means to make rules.

In addition to the shortcomings in policies and poor enforcement of rules, Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho blamed the prevalence of such vehicles on the lack of other suitable options meant to replace these banned vehicles.

A shortcoming in policies is something that makes them weak, which in this case is the fact that there is poor enforcement of rules, which means that people are not made to obey the rules.

The prevalence of such vehicles on the roads means that such vehicles are often on the roads.

Mini trucks recommended to replace modified vehicles had been found suitable for running in the delta, but not mountainous areas, he pointed out.

A delta is an area at a river mouth where a river splits into many more rivers before entering the sea. In this case the delta refers to the Mekong Delta.

In 2007, the Government had decided to ban and seize self-modified vehicles across the country to ease the growing traffic jams and reduce the number of accidents.

A traffic jam is a situation where many cars are on the same stretch of road and cannot move because other cars are blocking their way.

To help poor residents who operate these vehicles to earn a living, the government announced incentives and support measures two years later that would help these individuals find new jobs or buy other kinds of vehicles to replace their banned ones.

When people want others to do something, they may offer some sort of reward to make people more interested. This reward is an incentive.

WORKSHEET
State whether the following are true, or false:

1. The Government believes that if fewer self-modified cars are on the road, traffic jams will not be as bad as it is.

2. Self-modified cars, made from small tractors, have three wheels.

3. Ung Hoa is a district of Ha Noi.

4. Le Dinh Tho is the owner of a three-wheeled vehicle in Tu Liem District.

5. Hung Yen Province is in the north of Viet Nam.

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2013

1. True; 2. True; 3. True; 4. False; 5. True.

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