Traffic police find difficult to punish foreigners because of language barrier

In Ho Chi Minh City, more and more foreigners have violated the traffic law, resulting in increase in accidents while local authorities are facing difficulties in punishing them despite many solutions.

Traffic police find difficult to punish foreigners because of language barrier

A statistic report by the Road and Railway Traffic Police Division (PC08) of the HCMC Department of Police says that traffic accidents involving in foreigners have surged lately.
There were reportedly 75 cases in 2017 and it surged to 120 incidents in 2018. Noticeably, most of the traffic accidents involving foreigners have serious consequences.
For instance, 53-year-old Australian man Mark Hall lost control his motorbike to crash a container truck while he was driving in Hanoi expressway on March 23, 2018 at a high speed. After the crash, the foreign man fell down the streets and died at the spot.
Despite worse consequences of traffic accidents involving in foreigners, such accidents often happen in metropolitan districts in Ho Chi Minh City.
Just sitting in half an hour at the corner of De Tham – Bui Vien in district 1, SGGP reporters witnessed three foreign travelers not wearing helmets while driving motorbikes in a contrary direction.
It is very common that foreigners violate the traffic regulations in Phu My Hung new urban area, said guards in the area.
Most of violators are people from South Korea and China who have not regularly worn helmets in driving or drunk, they said.
“It is not true to say that these foreigners don’t know the law because they live in the city for years”.
Mr. Minh who has been working as a guard in the area said that the increase in traffic accidents involving foreigners who are disrespectful for the law is partly due to slight penalties.
Deputy Head of the Road and Railway Traffic Police Division Major Cao Duc Thinh said that HCMC police officers commenced a month-long campaign to crack down traffic accidents involving foreigners from August 1.
There have been many difficulties in dealing with the foreign violators. Many foreigners have shown their bad behaviors; some spoke in their mother tongue language not English while others left their vehicles and went away, Major Thinh said.
Additionally, communication becomes difficult because of language barriers. Not many police officers are fluent in foreign languages; hence, they are unable to deal with foreign violators.
Subsequently, Major Thinh said in addition to teaching police officers English, PC08 will work with tour agents, hotel managers and landlords who also let out their motorbikes to foreigners to disseminate traffic rules among foreigners in the city.

By PHAM MINH - Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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