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Sleeper bus carries twice its capacity in southern Vietnam

Monday, January 20, 2020, 19:05 GMT+7
Sleeper bus carries twice its capacity in southern Vietnam
A passenger bus packed with people is caught by traffic police officers in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, January 19, 2020. Photo: B.A. / Tuoi Tre

Traffic police officers caught a sleeper bus carrying twice as many people as its seats in the southern province of Dong Nai on Sunday.

The officers who patrolled a National Highway 1A section passing through Bien Hoa City, the capital of Dong Nai, on Sunday evening pulled over a 40-seater sleeper bus heading for the north-central province of Nghe An from Ho Chi Minh City.

A total of 82 people were found on board the packed vehicle.

The driver, 40-year-old Nguyen Van Nghia, could not produce a driver’s license or passenger transport contract upon request and was booked for the violations.

A passenger bus packed with people is caught by traffic police officers in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, January 19, 2020. Clip: B.A. / Tuoi Tre

On the same evening, another group of traffic police officers in Dong Nai pulled over a 43-seater sleeper bus traveling from Ho Chi Minh City to the north-central province of Quang Tri for an inspection.

The officers found a total of 77 people on the bus, which had been illegally remodeled to add extra sleeper seats.

The vehicle was also carrying oversized pieces of luggage.

The driver, 49-year-old Hoang Quynh, was booked for the violations and had his driver’s license confiscated.

Both drivers have been handed combined administrative fines of VND210 million (US$9,000), including VND70 million ($3,000) for Nghia and VND140 million for Quynh ($6,000), Dong Nai police said on Monday.

The two vehicles were escorted to a bus terminal in Dong Nai where excess passengers were put on two other vehicles to continue their journey.

A passenger bus packed with people is caught by traffic police officers in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, January 19, 2020. Photo: B.A. / Tuoi Tre

A passenger bus packed with people is caught by traffic police officers in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam, January 19, 2020. Photo: B.A. / Tuoi Tre

Around one week before and after Tet, or Lunar New Year, which will fall on January 25, is the peak traveling season in Vietnam.

Planes and trains are often fully booked weeks in advance while overcrowding is a common issue on passenger buses during this period, as hundreds of thousands embark on a mass migration from big cities back to their hometowns for family reunions.

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