Hau Giang passenger boats violate important safety rules
HAU GIANG (VNS)— Many boats in Hau Giang Province that transport people across rivers and canals have no operation licence, carry no lifebuoys and are not manned by certified drivers, threatening the safety of passengers, especially during the rain and flooding season, local officials say.
For example, on the Xa No Canal's 7km-long section in Chau Thanh District that runs from Bay Ngan Town to Mot Ngan Town, most of several dozen wharfs do not observe waterway traffic safety rules, including having lifebuoys for passengers.
At the Lai Hieu Canal in Phung Hiep District and Nga Bay Town, many ferry boats that are just 3-4m long and 1.5m wide carry 4-6 passengers including their bicycles or motorbikes on each trip.
Most boats on the canal are rowed by hand and do not have lifebuoys and other safety equipment.
The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province has about 440 wharfs, not including small and makeshift ones, but only 50 of these are licensed to operate, according to the provincial waterway police.
The province has organised nearly 800 waterway traffic safety inspections at the wharfs this year, discovering more than 3,900 violations. Administrative fines have been issued in 1,970 cases.
However, violations resume once the inspectors leave, residents say.
Huynh Van Song, deputy head of the province's uaterway police division, said they would strengthen co-operation with other agencies in encouraging boat owners as well as passengers to strictly follow traffic safety regulations.
The bureau would also strengthen inspections of wharfs and severely punish those violating waterway traffic regulations, he said. —VNS