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The Streets of Vietnam

By Amily Dec 05, 2010 456 Words
Vietnam, which is an Asian country, used to be known as a peaceful, ancient and traditional land. However, as the living standard is being developed day by day, the images of the wide, broad streets on which people rode their bicycles sparsely are no longer existed nowadays. That is the reason why Miles Walker (2007), who founded New Asian Values for the 21st Century, wrote an article: "The Streets of Vietnam - a Fatality Every 45 Minutes" to criticize most of the cities in Vietnam for being "uncontrolled traffic hellholes" and to give 3 main resolutions to tackle this problem. Although his measures are fine to some extent, they are not totally reasonable to eradicate the carnages caused by traffic. This essay will respond to his 3 solutions and give sufficient arguments.

To begin with, Mr. Walker gives some fearful statistics of the death toll in Ho Chi Minh City - the southern centre of Vietnam and states that something must be done immediately to solve this problem, as well as the obstruction and pollution. He believes that the most efficient solution is to decrease the number of cars and motorbikes by increasing the retail tax paid for petrol from 11.800 VND (which is approximately equal to 73 US cents) to about 16.800 VND. However, he ignores the fact that Vietnam is a developing country with the GDP is nearly 1000 USD per year. Therefore, this is absolutely unfair to the poor people who are merely workers as their expense would rise considerably only for the demand of petrol. Besides, the rise of gasoline tax is not an obstacle for any well-to-do family at all because it is bearable for them and if there is some work needed a motorbike or a car to be done, they are still willing to drive. That is why the increase of this kind of tax does not reduce remarkably the number of vehicles on the road and it is definitely not a suitable way for the people who have difficulties with their income.

Secondly, Mr. Walker claims that the ideal driving age should be at least 20 years old so as to forbid those who do not have enough physical and social maturity. Nevertheless, he fails to convince the readers that 18-year-old adults are mature enough as they are highly responsible to become Vietnamese citizens. Moreover, take America for instance, juveniles who reach the age of 16 are legal to drive their own car. They are forced to pass an essential test to prove they have necessary knowledge and skills and this law is also enforced strictly in Vietnam. In addition, the author states that there should be maximum two people allowed on one motorbike

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