Thursday, 2 September 2027

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Motorcycle Saigon, Ian Purdie, A Sense of Place Magazine, 7 August, 2019.

Ian Purdie

Aug 7 · 8 min read
James Crafter, pulled over by Saigon Police in PR blitz
Saigon police have launched a major campaign against foreign motorbike riders in an attempt to curb the nation’s shocking road toll.
Young, ill-prepared tourists often rent motorbikes and head off into Saigon’s daunting traffic.
For two weeks before the start of the two-month campaign on the 16th August, officers will apprise foreign tourists and expats about traffic rules. Foreigners will be let off with warnings for violations during the two-week period.
Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Binh of the Road-Railway Traffic Police Division said officers fluent in foreign languages would be deployed.
Road crashes are a leading cause of death in Vietnam, killing almost one person every hour. More than 18,720 accidents occurred last year, killing 8,244 people and injuring nearly 14,800, according to the National Traffic Safety Committee. Vietnam Express.
Many bike rental services require foreign customers to only furnish their passports and not driving licenses.
With media in attendance for the photo opportunity, at a street corner in Ho Chi Minh City’s Central District 1 this week police stopped three foreign motorbike drivers for paper checks. Only two of them possessed a driving license. The other was let off with a warning.
One of those pulled over was James Crafter, a supply chain expert with a Masters of Business Administration degree from RMIT Vietnam.
His paperwork apparently in order and the cameras rolling, he was treated in a particularly friendly manner by officers.
Asked by a reporter what he thought of being pulled over he replied:
If it raises awareness, I think it’s a good thing.
With neighbouring countries, particularly Thailand, having acquired an extremely poor reputation for tourist safety, Vietnam is an increasingly popular destination both for expats and tourists.
Safety standards are noticeably higher, and the population is not as overtly hostile to foreigners as in other countries suffering the destructive impacts of mass tourism.
Saigon received more than 4.2 million foreign tourists in the first half of this year, a 10 percent jump year-on-year. It expects 8.5 million to visit this year.
Chaotic holiday congestion in Saigon
Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City as it is officially known, has a population of just over ten million, many of whom ride a motorbike.
There are roughly eight and a half million motorbikes puttering around the city each day, contributing to chaotic yet fluid traffic flows. That means there are more bikes than there are households.
More than 750 new motorbikes are registered every day.
To the uninitiated Saigon traffic is unbelievable. Even crossing the street on foot can be a major challenge.
But the traffic is remarkably efficient at keeping things moving when you consider that to the untrained observer it appears not to be governed by any discernible rules.
For the full story go here. My role was in taking the main picture, editing and layout.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Shearers: The Photography of Russell Shakespeare, A Sense of Place Magazine, 15 July, 2019.


The Photography of Russell Shakespeare

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

A Sense of Place Magazine

Books, Publishing, Writing, Photography