Parents criticised for rise in rate of under-age drivers

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VietNam News English - 89 month(s) ago 4 readings

Parents must co-operate with schools to strictly monitor their children and make sure that they are abiding by traffic laws.

Children should not be allowed to drive motorbikes or ride without helmets, educational experts have said.

The comments were made after a number of school students were found driving motorbikes in urban areas. The country's legal driving age is 18 years old.

Early last month, the Ministry of Education and Training instructed schools nationwide to ask students and parents to sign commitments with local authorities to prevent juveniles from driving motorbikes.

Statistics from Ha Noi's Traffic Police Department showed that there had been 214 violations involving underage drivers this year.

Most violators did not have a driving licence and were found going through red lights and carrying more than three people on one bike.

Phuong Nam High School's Vice Principal Vu Duc Thu said the school banned students from parking motorbikes on campus, but several temporary parking attendants near the school were still serving juvenile customers.

Tay Ho High School's Principal Le Hong Vu blamed poor public transportation for the increase in violations.

"There are only two bus routes that pass by the school and they are all overloaded. Hiring school buses to pick up students is not the best choice because it cost between VND800,000-900,000 (US$42-47) for each student to ride the bus per month," Vu said.

Nguyen Quoc Quan, a father of a 12th grade student, said he allows his son to drive a motorbike to school because their house was 7km from the school and his son was very busy.

"It takes a lot of time and effort to ride a bicycle," said Quan. "I'd rather let him go by motorbike and focus on his studies than make him bike from this place to that place. He would be exhausted."

Dr Nguyen Hoi Loan, a psychologist at the National University of Ha Noi, said the distance to schools and overcrowded buses were not reasons to allow students to drive to school.

"It is the parents' responsibility to control students driving habits. Improper education from both parents and schools may be the cause for the student's bad behaviour," said Dr. Loan said. — VNS

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