Many countries require an applicant for a taxi driver’s license to have several years of driving experience, but not Vietnam.
In Vietnam, one barely needs to reach 18 years of age to get a license to become a professional taxi driver.
In Germany, a person should be at least 21, have had a license for over two years, not have been penalized for significant misconduct on the road, and have no criminal charges to qualify as a taxi driver.
The applicant then needs to undergo a health check and six-week learning course before being permitted to drive a taxi.
In the U.S., one needs to have held a driving license for at least one year and be at least 21 years old to apply for a taxi license.
They also need to test negative for drugs and get passing scores in both a theory test and an online training program.
Japan has similar requirements but an applicant needs to have had a driving license for at least three years.
In Australia, taxi drivers need to be at least 20 years old, have two years of driving experience and sufficient English knowledge and clear a medical test.
Just these few examples show how in most countries people have to jump through hoops to become a taxi driver.
At the very least, they need to prove to authorities they can navigate safely on the road without endangering themselves, their passengers and other road users.
But in Vietnam, drivers merely need a driving license, which only indicates they can operate a vehicle rather than actually have the ability to drive safely on the road.
It sets the bar rather low for taxi drivers, who have the job of ensuring others’ safety.
Anyone who has driven on Vietnamese roads knows well that operating and actually driving a vehicle are two different things.
Are conditions in Vietnam enough to ensure road safety? Is it right to make customers fear for their lives?
A taxi ride should be a safe experience rather than a rollercoaster ride with spills and thrills.