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Foreigners riding hired bikes without license endanger road safety on Phu Quoc

Friday, March 13, 2015, 17:09 GMT+7
Foreigners riding hired bikes without license endanger road safety on Phu Quoc
An aerial view of Phu Quoc Island off the southern Vietnamese province of Kien Giang is seen in this June 13, 2007 file photo.

Foreign travelers like exploring landscapes on Phu Quoc Island, off southern Vietnam, while on motorbikes they have hired from local residents but most of these foreigners are posing threats to road safety as they do not master local traffic rules and have no driver’s license, the Vietnam News Agency said in a Vietnamese article published on Wednesday.

>> Phu Quoc Island on its way to becoming Vietnam’s special economic hub In recent years, more and more foreign tourists have visited Phu Quoc off the southern province of Kien Giang and their arrival has given a boost to the development of various services, including the leasing of motorbikes, the Vietnam News Agency said.

Such a service benefits its providers and brings convenience to the users, but a worrying issue is that most of the foreigners who rent motorcycles do not meet the requirements for riding the vehicles.

This is one of the reasons why an increasing number of accidents have happened in recent times.

Most foreign visitors who rent motorbikes have no driver’s license, as required by the law of Vietnam, and have no knowledge of Vietnamese road traffic regulations, the news agency said.

The agency pointed out that many of these foreigners often travel at speed, do not wear crash helmets while driving, or drive on the wrong lane, thus posing serious threats to road safety. 

Over the past years, the Vietnam News Agency said, many foreign visitors to Phu Quoc have preferred hiring motorcycles to taking taxis as a means for them to explore the attractions of the island.

Hiring bikes for travel is cheaper than using taxis, and when driving bikes, travelers can call at any places as they wish, whereas they cannot do so when using taxicabs.

The motorbike leasing service has been very familiar with foreign visitors to the island.    A French tourist told the news agency that he had rented a motorbike and traveled around on it to explore the island, as traveling by taxi is costlier but less convenient.

From the beginning of 2015 until now, three road accidents have been caused by foreigners who drove rented motorbikes on Phu Quoc, killing three people, including two foreigners, and injuring two other foreigners.

A visitor coming from Russia said he had seen many other foreigners rent a motorbike on the island so he did the same.

The man, however, said that he has been informed of many accidents brought about by foreigners who drove motorbikes without wearing a helmet and had no driver’s license.

In order to improve traffic safety and reduce road accidents, the Phu Quoc police have encouraged providers of motorbike leasing services to make a commitment that they will not lease their bikes to those tourists, including foreigners, who have no driver’s license as required by law, said Lieutenant Colonel Tran Ngoc Quy, a traffic police officer of the Phu Quoc District Police Department.

Local police have coordinated with hotels to provide their guests with regulations on road safety and increased patrols on streets to detect and prevent any violation, Quy said.

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