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Old Motorbikes Are the New Target of Saigon's Plan to Reduce Air Pollution

City officials hope to get a pilot program to regulate vehicle emissions off the ground in January 2020.

The Saigon Times reports that municipal leaders want to take old vehicles off the streets in order to help alleviate the city's worsening air pollution problem.

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport estimates that transport activities create 50% of emissions in Saigon, while some of the most polluted areas in town are also notorious for terrible congestion, including the Huynh Tan Phat-Nguyen Van Linh intersection in District 7 and the An Suong and Binh Phuoc intersections.

Transport motorbikes are the initial focal point of this proposed pilot project, as they are subject to looser emissions regulations than cars and trucks. According to the news source, cheap motorbike models such as Honda Cubs, Dreams and Waves have been in use for years and are often modified to carry heavy goods.

The drivers of these bikes, in addition to not maintaining their vehicles, are also frequently involved in accidents, but traffic police can't confiscate the bikes due to a lack of regulations on emissions or service life.

Therefore, the Transport Department is working with local motorbike manufacturing associations on ways to control the use of aging motorbikes. Once a plan is formulated, it will be sent to the municipal government so that policies on motorbike emissions can be issued. As of writing it is unclear whether this program will be extended to other types of vehicles in the future.

The news source adds that way back in 2012, Saigon decided to work on similar regulations, but the public reaction was negative and no progress was made. In October 2017, city officials announced that they would release motorbike emission standards by the following year, but that also has not occurred.

[Photo via Quan doi nhan dan]