10 driving schools suspended for graft

December 1, 2009

LookAtVietnam – More than 10 out of 54 driver training and testing centres had had their operations suspended due to violations in training and testing.

A driver training and test centre at the Transport and Automobile Joint Stocks Company No 2 makes its debut. Around 20 per cent of driving centres in three provinces have been suspended due to violations.

The centres are in Ha Noi and Nghe An and Ninh Binh provinces.

Minister of Transport Ho Nghia Dung said that it was necessary to increase inspections at the centres to ensure more transparency and equality in issuing driving licenses.

Nguyen Van Quyen, deputy head of the Viet Nam Road Department, said that despite automatic sensor testing systems being used in driving tests for more objective results, many cases of impersonation and bribery to obtain licences had taken place.

During this year, more than 3.4 million motorbike and 486,000 car driving licences had been issued.

Quyen said that to minimise violations, the Ministry of Finance needed to recalculate the costs of driving training courses because the current fee of VND3.4 million (US$183) for a course had been in place for over a decade.

Nguyen Duc Hop, an instructor at Thanh Xuan District’s Driver Training Centre 17, said that each learner had to do about 50 hours of practice and pay tuition fees for a teacher at about VND300,000 ($16) per hour. The driving course fee would be raised to VND15 million ($810).

Hop said that with the new fee higher than the current amount would be a simplified one-off payment, saving time and small additional charges that were common during the test period.

Referring to the serious accident that left 10 dead and five injured in Ha Noi last week, deputy head of the Road Police Department Nguyen Anh Tuan said that the driver, when questioned, had no understanding of the Traffic Law.

Tuan said that training and testing drivers of vehicles with more than 12 seats should be more focused because if they caused accidents, the threat to people’s lives would be greater.

The Ministry of Transport is planning to re-issue driving licences so that they meet international standards. It will also offer the opportunity to detect those using false driving licences.

Tuan said that currently, there were an estimated 2.5 million drivers without official licences but still driving vehicles.

The new form of driving licences in Vietnamese and English will be made of non-forgeable material.

Currently, it takes just five days for people to get a new driving licence.

Quyen said that however, the new licences would cost higher than the current rates of VND30,000 ($1.5).

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


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