HCM CITY — The Government is set to make motorbike riding safer by setting minimum quality standards for crash helmets and stamping out protective headgear that are not strictly helmets.
|A shop sells helmets in central Quang Binh Province. Helmet manufacturers and users will be punished if their helmets fail to meet the regulated specifications. — VNA/VNS Photo Trinh Duy Hung
The draft of a new circular issued by several ministries will describe the requirements of a proper helmet, and not only manufacturers but also users will be punished if their helmets fail to meet the specifications.
The circular from the Ministries of Science and Technology, Transport, Public Security, and Trade and Industry will also target traders and importers.
Helmet-shaped hats are very popular and do not offer protection to users, but they have not been regulated yet.
Tran Van Vinh, deputy head of the Directorate of Standards, Metrology and Quality told Tuoi tre (Youth) newspaper: "Fraud helmet must be severely fined."
The circular requires manufacturers to have a licence and all other certificates from relevant authorities.
If they fail to meet any requirement, they will be shut down.
Traders must also have a licence, contracts with manufacturers and importers to enable authorities to trace the origin of the helmets they sell, and CR (conformity of regulation) safety stamps.
Similar requirements will also apply to importers.
Motorcyclists wearing anything except authorised helmets will be deemed not to be wearing helmets and fined.
"The circular will be handy for traffic policemen in tackling violations of traffic laws," Vinh said.
It also aims to raise awareness among users of buying the right helmet by publicly informing the norms, he said.
It is common in HCM City to see "helmets" made of flimsy plastic sold for VND25,000 – 45,000 while a genuine one costs at least VND150,000 (US$7).
And then there are the helmet-shaped hats.
Meanwhile, last month authorities in the central city of Da Nang ordered scientists to produce a machine to test helmet quality right on the road. Any helmet that fails to pass the test will be destroyed and the user has to buy a proper one immediately.
The machine is expected to be ready by early next month.
According to the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality, 47 brands out of a total of 120 are no longer made because they were unable to compete with cheap, low-quality rivals. — VNS