More Cars, Higher Fuel Prices, and Enforced Traffic Rules in Saigon

Thanh Nien News puts out some interesting articles on occasion.  This morning’s lead articles focussed on cars and the possible fuel rises.

Increase of Cars in Saigon

(Source: Thanh Nien News)

Last month, over 12,000 cars were sold in Vietnam, over 80,000 for the year.  You can definitely see this now when riding through most of the districts of Saigon.  Over a year ago, a motorbike could easily commute around Saigon, even during the morning and evening rush hours.  Today, forget it.  Next year, many may have to give up our motorbikes and focus on other means of transportation due to higher fuel prices.

Rumors of Fuel Rises in Saigon

(Source: Thanh Nien News)

Another article focussed on the possible price rise of fuel to 17,000 VND ($1.03) per liter, up from 13,000 VND.  Though the government said it was only a rumor, after living in Vietnam for nearly 4 years, rumors tend to become fact once it gets out to the public.  The last price hiked has affected the whole city already (just check to see how much you pay for your cafe sua da now).  Because of the last price hikes, you see more electric bicycles on the road now.

Enforced Traffic Rules

(Source: Thanh Nien News)

The last article of interest put a smile on my face.  For the last year now, the HCMC government authorities have wanted the citizens of the city to comply with the traffic laws.  Lately, the traffic police have been pulling many more cars and motorbikes over for traffic infringements. I nearly got stopped when I turned left from Nguyen Thi Minh Khai to CMT8 since you can no longer make that turn legally anymore.  I hope the city can start enforcing people to obey the traffic laws in Saigon.

8 comments on “More Cars, Higher Fuel Prices, and Enforced Traffic Rules in Saigon”

  1. JC

    Surely it’s because it’s in the run-up to Tet and the police are looking for their annual bribe…I mean bonus…

  2. ziggy

    Wearing helmets, following the rules, cleaning up street vendors… Might as well be in Iowa.

    Jeez, we’ll have to move to Cambodia pretty soon to get away from the nanny state.

  3. Luigi

    It is unavoidable for developing nations to have this situation. Hope the policy makers also provide incentives to clean-green industries to go green and more people using car-pool 🙂

  4. Clifton

    Considering that there are traffic violations, what we in America would call serious violations occurring everywhere all of the time the traffic police have their work cut out for them. Just getting the motorbike drivers dissuaded from driving on the sidewalks would be nice. Driving the wrong way on the many one-way streets is de rigueur. The pedestrians utilizing the marked crosswalks at intersections are not accorded any particular right-of-way. Vehicles always behave like they have the right to bully pedestrians although they rarely actually collide with pedestrians. I believe the best way to change the outrageous, atrocious scofflaws behavior would be to confiscate the vehicles of miscreants. This would also alleviate the congestion, at least for awhile, and effectively and immediately improve safety and lesson stress all around.

  5. SaigonNezumi (Kevin)

    @Luigi: Car pool in Vietnam. Unheard of here. There are also no environmental policies here as well. Ask people what they think about global warming and you will get a blank look on their faces. Many do not realize that Vung Tau may be covered over by sea water in as little as 5 years.

    @Clifton: One motorbike per owner was affective in the past.

  6. Clifton

    The only way the VN guvment could hope to limit ownership of motor vehicles to one per person would be to have the death penalty imposed for ALL of those greedy multiple vehicle owners. At least a confiscation of ALL vehicles of multi-motorbike owners would possibly suffice.

    I believe, like I wrote before, that only when the vehicles are literally taken away forever from those who commit egregious traffic violations will the dangerous traffic situation change in Saigon/Vietnam. I have been coming here for only a little over 3 and 1/2 years+, but I have witnessed in that short time the deleterious effects on traffic circulation caused mainly by the increasing numbers of vehicles. This increase compounded by the anarchy explicit in drivers ignoring basic traffic laws creating stress, accidents, injuries and fatalities while lessoning the safety of all other drivers and even pedestrians. Further I believe that serious penalties have to be levied against those businesses that encroach onto the sidewalk thus forcing pedestrians to brave the mean streets.

    I have already noticed that helmet wearing is slacking off, especially at night, the measly penalty is laughably insufficient to change peoples behavior. I witnessed an accident recently when a helmet less driver dropped their motorbike and struck their head so hard that they were woozy enough that one of those “assisting” the man was able to steal his wallet with 3 million Dong and his ID card. I hate to see a grown man cry…

    Of course my perspective is colored by the fact that I walk almost everywhere while I am here in Vietnam and absolutely refuse to use a motorcycle in Saigon. We have been taking the bus also recently and I love the busses here generally, another great way to really see the city.

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