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Vietnam Proposes New Driver's License Class for Teenage Drivers

The draft amendment would require all drivers aged 16–18 to have a license to operate motorized scooters with an engine capacity of up to 50cc and electric scooters that travel no more than 50 kilometers per hour.

The proposed A0-tier licenses, Tuoi Tre reports, are the core of a draft amendment proposal that would bring Vietnam into compliance with the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which the nation entered into in 2014.

Proponents of the new license claim that the current laws that don't require a license for people of that age for those vehicle types, which presents a dangerous loophole. Around 52% of high school students commute to school by motorbike or electric scooter but none has a driver's license because they have not yet reached the minimum age of 18 to take the test.

Meanwhile, a lack of road safety training has resulted in 90% of all traffic accidents involving young adults aged 16 to 18, according to the National Traffic Safety Committee. 

However, citizens have cited numerous reasons why the new law might be a bad idea. They say requiring students to study for and take an exam would take too much time away from their important schoolwork. Moreover, if they are not required to take safety courses, the license will have no meaning as they haven't actually improved their road safety awareness. High costs and opportunities for forged tests are other reasons people are less than enthusiastic about the proposal. 

Hoang Hong Hanh, deputy director of the Department of Legislation and Inspection under the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam (DRVN), said the authorities have already taken these concerns into account and stated that they are considering coordinating with schools to let students take them there and raising funds from the private sector to offset costs.

Meanwhile, plans to more strictly monitor driving tests, including the use of cameras and sensors, have been delayed due to the COVID-19 epidemic which made installing technologies difficult.