Ho Chi Minh City authorities are implementing a program to inspect vehicle exhaust emissions during January, with plans to restrict the number of old vehicles that cause pollution.

The program will be undertaken in three stages: 2020, 2021-2025, and 2026-2030. It includes a number of measures to control exhaust emissions from motor cars and motorbikes, restrict the number of old vehicles, reduce the use of private vehicles, and increase the use of public transport.

Motor cars and motorbikes will be inspected and controlled under criteria for technical and environmental safety. Those that do not meet the criteria will not be allowed on the city’s streets.

It will also limit areas in the city vehicles are allowed to travel on and the time they may travel. A levy on vehicles entering the inner districts will also be applied. Restrictions on motor cars and motorbikes will follow a road map, starting with Districts 1, 3, 5, and 10, the Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2, and Phu My Hung in District 7, and then expand to surrounding areas.

Authorities have also outlined plans for investigating additional public transport options in new residential areas, including new bus lanes, in an bid to reduce traffic congestion and promote the use of public transport.

Ho Chi Minh City had more than 9 million vehicles as at mid-2019, or more than 90 per cent of all vehicles on its streets, according to the latest figures from the city’s Department of Transport. Motorbikes are currently not subject to any inspection or control after registration. Many old motorbikes are being driven and produce high exhaust emissions into the environment. The program is therefore expected to reduce pollution as well as traffic congestion.