Well, it hasn’t taken very long for people in Sai Gon to begin flaunting the new helmet laws. It was only on December 15 that nearly every person remarkably complied with the new law requiring helmets for drivers and passengers of motorbikes to be worn everywhere in Viet Nam. The police were out in force making sure that people complied and I really began to believe that this time the law would stick.
However, I now notice more people without helmets, particularly the passengers and, alarmingly, I notice parents not bothering to helmet their children. The other night a bike with 2 adults and 3 children pulled up alongside me and the children were not wearing helmets. When I remarked on this the mother said wryly, “Oh well, its only 3 people not too much”. I think she meant that they would cop the fine and not worry too much about it.
Christmas Eve I was over at Tan Binh District and there were dozens of young people riding helmet-less on the busy Cong Hoa St and on the smaller surrounding streets as well. But the classic was just outside my house on Nguyen Dinh Chieu St. I was riding behind a young couple, both of whom were not wearing helmets and a police bike with two uniformed traffic police came past me and drew alongside them. The police totally ignored the fact that these young people had no helmets and went on past them with barely a glance.
Obviously, if the police don’t continue to enforce this law people simply won’t comply.