Reviewing Vietnam's licensing system


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Project summary

Road safety remains a significant public health issue in Vietnam. Approximately 10,000 people lose their lives each year due to injuries sustained on the country’s roads, with motorbike riders making up around 59% of the drivers involved in these crashes.

VicRoads International was engaged on behalf of a leading intergovernmental organisation to review Vietnam’s driver licensing system. This review included an evaluation of:

  • best practice licensing systems used by developed nations like Australia, Canada, and Singapore
  • Vietnam’s current road safety legislation
  • the licensing system and its associated procedures, policies, processes, and resourcing undertaken through field visits 
  • the challenges surrounding Vietnam’s current licensing system via robust stakeholder engagement, meetings and workshops.

Project outcomes

VicRoads’ review found that several issues are contributing to Vietnam’s road safety outcomes, including:

  • a lack of road safety education during pre-school and primary school resulting in children’s limited knowledge
  • the widespread view that driving a motorbike without any formal training or licence testing is culturally acceptable
  • differing levels of education across Vietnam, impeding understanding and use of road rules.

To combat these issues, VicRoads recommended several major changes to the country’s licensing system, including:

  • the adoption of a graduated licensing system using both theory and practical training to educate drivers at different stages of their maturity and driving experience
  • the introduction of hazard perception testing to better assess motorists’ practical driving skills
  • improved medical testing and recording of medical history for licence applicants
  • a review of licence renewal periods to enhance communication with drivers
  • a legislative review of traffic penalties and infringements with improved access to road safety data across Government.

VicRoads also championed other road safety initiatives adopted in Australia and other developed nations to the Vietnamese Government such as a demerit points system and road safety education programs for children.

VicRoads’ recommendations have been fully embraced by the client and implementation of these changes now depends on additional funding from the Vietnamese Government. The plan for a more effective licensing system puts Vietnam one step closer to improving road safety across the country.

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