Hundreds of tire-puncturing nails have been found along a national highway in Ho Chi Minh on a daily basis, forcing some local residents to take matters into their own hands to prevent others from having a flat tire and falling victim to dishonest repair shops.
Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters met Nguyen Van Thanh, a scrap collector hailing from the southern province of Tay Ninh, on Tuesday morning, when he was using a magnet to retrieve the sharp nails.
Along a 100-meter section of National Highway 1 in Thanh Xuan Ward, District 12, Thanh was able to collect hundreds of tire-puncturing nails weighing nearly 200 grams in total.
Most of the nails had a rhombus shape, blue color, and looked brand new.
“I had already removed the nails from the street yesterday, but they were littered along the roadway again today,” Thanh said.
Thanh often arrives at the location early in the morning when there are fewer vehicles to pick up the nails.
One of his friends, who drives a motor cart for a living, also helps him with the nail-clearing job.
“We don’t want other people to have a flat tire because of these nails,” Thanh stated, hoping that local authorities would have an assertive solution to this problem.
D., a resident in Thanh Xuan Ward, said he has also been collecting nails along the national highway since April 30.
“There were so many nails that I had to use a magnet to pick them up,” he stated.
“It can be very troublesome for motorcyclists with a flat tire as they have to push their vehicles until they find a repair shop.”
According to N.V.B., who frequently travels on this route, his tire was previously punctured on two consecutive nights.
The second incident was so serious that he had to change a brand new tire, which cost him about VND150,000 (US$6.45).
Dau An Phuc, vice-chairman of District 12, told Tuoi Tre that members of the district’s youth union often patrol along the highway section to collect the nails and any objects that compromise road safety.
The administration has requested police units to carry out an investigation and identify those who have been scattering sharp nails along the route, Phuc added.
In Vietnam, some dishonest motorbike repair shops often scatter such nails on the roads to puncture vehicles’ tires, forcing commuters to use their service at exorbitant prices.