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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Off-limit for small-chested drivers in Vietnam?

Thu, Oct. 30, 2008- When the media revealed the plan in considering to banning small-chested motorcyclists from its roads earlier this week, it prompted disbelief and scorn among members of the public, who envisioned the police pulling over female drivers to measure their breasts. Faced with mounting public criticism, Vietnam's Health Ministry suspended a widely ridiculed plan to ban short, thin and small-chested drivers.

The ruling Communist Party in Vietnam in their effort to curb traffic safety believed banning small drivers will make them safer. Vietnamese roads are among the most dangerous in the world. They proposed anyone with a chest under 28 inches will be banned from driving a motorbike - which make up 90 per cent of the traffic on the country's chaotic roads. As well as those who are too short (less than 4 -foot-8) or too thin (less than 88 pounds).

"A lot of people in my home village are small," said Tai, 46. "Many in my generation were poor and suffered from malnutrition. And now the Ministry of Health wants to stop us from driving to work." The average Vietnamese man is 5 feet, 4 inches (164 centimeters) tall and weighs 121 pounds (55 kilograms). The average Vietnamese woman is 5 feet, 1 inch (155 centimeters) tall and weighs 103 pounds (47 kilograms).

Thursday's state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted ministry official Nguyen Huy Quang as saying the proposal would be suspended.

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