Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho discussed curbing overloaded trucks on the roads with Dat Viet (Vietnamese Land ) e-newspaper.
More weighing stations have been installed to reduce overloaded trucks on the roads. Yet, drivers have used tricks to skip being weighed at the stations, even driving quickly past the weighing stations. Do you think the effort has been as effective as expected?
Controlling the loads of vehicles is a necessary activity that should occur regularly. Overloaded trucks damage roads and threaten the safety of everyone driving on the roads.
As authorities have tightened their controls of overloaded trucks this year, the number of road accidents decreased. In the first four months of this years, the number of people who died in road accidents was 160 fewer than in the same period last year. This is a visible result of the effort.
The ministry also expected that controlling truck loads would help create a more competitive environment in the transportation sector and curb the frequency of transport firms paying bribes to police to allow their overloaded trucks to travel on the roads.
Also, Transport Minister Dinh La Thang has urged improving connections among different types of transportation, including railway and waterways, to reduce the burden on the roads. Road transportation makes up 94 to 95 per cent of the nation's total transportation demands. Transport firms have recently asked for more studies to find ways to take advantage of difference types of transportation.
Previously, iron, steel and cement were usually transported on the roads, but now they have shifted to the waterways. I think that this is an initial success for the measures curbing overload trucks.
The tightening of controls on overloaded trucks is being blamed for increased transport costs. Particularly, this adds a burden for farmers, who have their products carried by trucks. Do you think this is correct?
Beginning last year we tightened controls on overloaded trucks. The number of overloaded trucks on the roads has been reduced regularly. Out of every 100 trucks examined at weighing stations, about 15 or 16 trucks were found to be overloaded.
I don't think the authorities' tightening controls on overloaded trucks pushed up transportation costs.
Goods owners and transportation firms usually agree with set transportation prices, but drivers loaded excessive goods so they could earn more profits.
I believe that about 70 per cent of the transportation firms and goods owners are aware of the efficiency of the loading control policy. Those remaining are still intentionally violating regulations by choosing other roads to avoid weigh stations or rushing past the stations. I think that this is a short-term response.
What measures has the ministry taken to decrease the number of overloaded trucks on the roads?
Synchronous measures are needed. First, there needs to be communications to improve public awareness, particularly among transport firms.
Then, the loads carried by vehicles would be examined right at railway stations, sea ports, mining sites and construction sites to avoid overloading, as Viet Nam has regulations on the loading and unloading of types of goods.
We also plan to boost inspections on roads and at weighing stations.
However, the number of weighing stations across the country is not high enough, as there are only two fixed weighing stations in Dau Giay and Quang Ninh, plus tens of mobil weighing stations.
The ministry is planning to call for investment under a Build-Operation-Transfer contract to build weighing stations at all toll stations nationwide.
The ministry also called for further co-operation from local authorities in the provinces and cities, because overloaded vehicles cannot run only on national highways. They have to run on provincial or local roads, which are managed by local authorities. — VNS