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Vietnam Considers Enforcing Emissions Tests for Large-Capacity Motorbikes

The Vietnamese government has drafted a law that would enforce mandatory emissions tests for all motorcycles over 175cc.

VnExpress reports that, if approved, the law would go into effect from July 1, 2018. The draft regulation states that all large motorbikes which are more than five years old will be required to have a state-issued emissions certificate and verified emissions test stamp placed on them. The tests would cost VND100,000 - 150,000, and bikes would be tested every two years. Drivers who avoid the tests will be fined. According to the news source, the law would exclude vehicles used by the police, military and disabled people.

Motorbike emissions tests were first proposed nearly a decade ago, but public backlash has prevented any sort of regulation from being implemented. The sheer number of vehicles in the country, however, is forcing the authorities into action. The Traffic Police Department recorded nearly 49 million registered motorbikes in Vietnam at the end of 2015, 12 million of which were in Hanoi and Saigon.  

Such numbers have led to serious air pollution issues, with the Vietnam Register claiming that 70-90% of urban air pollution comes from vehicle emissions, Thanh Nien reports. The organization states that in Hanoi and Saigon, motorbikes account for 94% of hydrocarbon emissions, 87% of toxic carbon monoxide and nearly 60% of nitrogen oxide output.

In response, authorities nationwide have proposed drastic measures to reign in motorbike numbers and emissions. Hanoi, for example, recently proposed phasing out bikes by 2025, an idea which has received harsh critical feedback.

Such efforts come as vehicle sales are surging, with the Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers reporting over 1.4 million motorbike sales in the first six month of 2016, up 8% over the same period last year. Meanwhile, in July more than 28,000 cars were sold nationwide, a year-on-year increase of 38%.

[Photo via Flickr user Kip Soep]

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