DA NANG – The central city of Da Nang will subsidise the cost of motorbike helmets for residents as a measure to curb traffic accident injuries and fatalities, the chairman of the municipal People's Committee, Van Huu Chien, said yesterday.
A standard helmet would be sold in the city for VND50,000 (US$2.3) starting April 1, about half of the current market price, he said.
The move aimed to hinder people from buying cheap and counterfeit helmets, which are behind an increasing number of head injures, according to the Ministry of Transport Ministry.
Chien said the city would lend helmet producers VND8 billion ($380,000) with zero interest rate, in return for which the producers would supply the city with 100,000 helmets over two years.
Last week, the city broke ground on a 5,000 sq.m helmet production facility with an annual capacity of 100,000 helmets.
"We hope that all city's dwellers can wear quality-tested helmets from accredited producers, starting next month," Chien said.
He also added that the city would inspect the existing helmets of residents for compliance with safety standards.
The city also planned to step up enforcement of traffic laws, including higher fines, starting next month, said Chien.
In the first three months of this year, the city reported 25 traffic accidents that killed 23 and injured 10 – a decline of 20 accidents and two deaths from the same period last year. However, the number of traffic violations rose by nearly 3,000 incidents in March, compared with the previous month.
At a press conference yesterday to review the city's socio-economic progress in the first quarter, the head of the People's Committee secretariat, Nguyen Van Can, said the city's industrial production value grew to nearly VND3.6 trillion ($171 million) during the period, a 12-per cent increase.
Exports earned $177 million, a 15.9-per cent surge over the same period last year.
During the first quarter, the city attracted 216 new foreign-invested projects with combined investment capital of $3.35 billion. Due to inflation and global economic downturn, however, the city also witnessed the dissolution of 44 businesses.
The coastal city saw nearly 600,000 tourist arrivals, of which 260,000 were foreign tourists, and the tourism sector reported revenues totalling VND1.25 trillion ($59 million). – VNS