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Hanoi police propose breathalyzer installment for cabs, buses

Saturday, December 24, 2016, 13:50 GMT+7

Traffic police in Hanoi have suggested installing breathalyzers inside passenger vehicles to prevent drunk drivers from driving and causing potential accidents, thus ensuring traffic safety.

Aside from being equipped with dashboard cameras, buses and taxis in the city should be required to install breathalyzers, the Hanoi traffic police unit said in its proposal submitted to the municipal police department and relevant agencies.

The devices will be used to measure blood alcohol content of drivers prior to their departure, according to the document.

Before starting the engine, drivers will have the level of alcohol in their breath tested, with the results transferred to a management center.

If the drivers’ blood alcohol is higher than the legitimate limit, operators of the centers will carry out certain procedures to prevent the vehicles from setting off.

Colonel Dao Vinh Thang, chief of the traffic police division, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that his unit is also considering designing a grading system for local drivers.

“Each driver will be given ten points in their ‘account,’ which will be deducted whenever they violate traffic regulation,” Col. Thang elaborated.

Once the grades run out, they will be required to retake the driving license test, he added.

While several transport experts expressed their support for the suggestion on breathalyzer equipment, they warned that it is not easy to realize the plan.

It will pose financial challenge to transport companies to equip every vehicle in their bus or cab fleets with a breathalyzer, according to the experts.

According to Nguyen Van Thanh, president of the Vietnam Automobile Transportation Association, competent authorities should review the plan carefully before putting it into practice.

The state should support businesses in terms of finance in order for the proposal to be carried out effectively, Thanh continued.

Khuc Huu Thanh Hai, director of a local transport company, considered the installment of breathalyzers unnecessary as each business has their own regulations and sanction methods for their employees.

It would be more viable for the devices to be planted at the city entrances and local tollbooths, Hai added.

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