Are the Traffic Police stopping Foreigners? Nope…

Nearly a couple weeks ago, I posted an article in reference to the traffic police being allowed to stop foreigners.  Well, since that time, I have only heard of one case of a foreigner being stopped by the traffic police.

Today I was riding from District 4 to District 1.  As I was turning, I was forced by a truck to go through a red light (it was either go or get run over).  As I was going through the red light, I saw a traffic policeman looking straight at me.  I thought it was strange but I realized that he let me off the hook for going through a red light.

What I did not know was that I forgot to put on my helmet.  This has not happened to me before.  In fact, I had left my helmet back at the consulting firm I worked at today.  So when I left the gate, I just left without grabbing my helmet.  It was not until I got to Au Parc that I realized I forgot to put on my helmet.  The parking guards thought it was funny that I was trying to take off an invisible helmet off of my head 🙂

Anyway, to make a matters short, I broke two laws in front of the traffic police today.  Surprised me.  Maybe they we scared by my ninja mask?  I am wondering if they will contact my friend who registered my motorbike.  If so, I will pay for the fines, definitely.

I am wondering that they may have let me go because I have a northern number.  You do not see many northern registered motorbikes getting pulled over in Saigon.

Wear your helmet, obey the laws!  Do not be  a hypocrite like I was today 🙂

  • The police just stop girls to measure their chest size.
    Is that rule in effect yet? 🙂

  • Timen

    You tried to take off your invisible helmet? Hehehe… OK — take it easy tomorrow night, Kevin. The holiday season is getting to you.

  • R. Streitmatter-Tran

    my friend was stopped and his bike confiscated. he’s vk, so i’m not sure if the rule is being enforced on this demographic more. i’m taking no chances.

  • Since the police don’t speak english and they know foreigners are much less likely to pay bribes there isn’t much they can do with you.

  • Broke two laws right in front of a cop? What a G.

    • It was not intentional. If they have a camera, I should know in a couple of weeks. I try to keep my helmet on my handlebar so I do not forget.

  • Jonathan

    I accidentally made an illegal left turn in front of a traffic cop in 2003 (it was dark, traffic was heavy, and I just didn’t see the sign), and he stopped me. I wasn’t even sure what I did, and he didn’t really speak English, so I called my wife. She sent over my brother in law, who bribed him, and we went on our way 🙂

    • Back then you could just leave. The police would not have gone after you. Today it is different.

  • Craig

    I REALLY hope they are not enforcing driving-without-license laws. I am due to visit next month, and to me driving scooters in Saigon are one of the bigest reasons to visit.

  • @Jonathan: You should not have called your wife! The more of a pain you are to deal with (through no fault of your own) the more likely he is to not bother with you. 🙂

  • Jonathan

    @Craig: I don’t know about now, but at least in 2002 and 2003 they weren’t. I think they pretty much assumed that any foreigner on a scooter didn’t have a driver’s license. At least, the traffic cop that stopped me that time never asked for a license.

    I haven’t been to Saigon in 4 years, but my wife visited last summer and said traffic was way worse than it was the last time I was there, and it was really bad then. Don’t know why you’d want to ride in that soup :p

    Now, riding in someplace like Vung Tau is actually fun. Nice wide roads with not much traffic,you can actually enjoy yourself, something I could only do late at night in Saigon, when traffic died down enough to make riding a pleasure instead of a flirt with death :p

  • Craig

    @Jonathan: The insanity of Saigon traffic is part of the fun! Maybe fun isn’t the correct word. Thrill is better.

  • Huy

    I have heard also that the vehicle register from the norhern provinces tend not to get pulled over as much, from our tour guide in 2006. Yes it is political.
    I had a 2-hour ride in back of scooter in Vung Tau and it is much better travel there.


  • Depends on the number. Hanoi (29), Ninh Binh (35) and a couple northern places no. Maybe in other parts of Vietnam but I am not too sure.

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