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 🙂

15 comments on “Are the Traffic Police stopping Foreigners? Nope…”

  1. Timen

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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 🙂

  4. 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.

  5. Tracy Reed

    @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. 🙂

  6. 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

  7. Craig

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

  8. 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.


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