HCM CITY (VNS)— Fake helmets have flooded the market again following the temporary halt of a circular fining riders caught using them.
This has led to a call for the system to be changed so that manufacturers producing deadly "protective" helmets are fined instead.
The chairman of the HCM City Association for Consumer Rights, Ngo Bach Phong, said that substandard helmets were now widely on sale for about VND30,000-60,000 (US$1.40- 2.80), a quarter of the price for genuine goods.
Nguyen Thanh Hau, director of A Chau Plastic Trading and Manufacturing complained that genuine helmets could not compete with substandard ones, although the company had cut prices.
Health experts said that wearing a good helmet could reduce the risk of serious injuries by 69 per cent, and fatalities by 42 per cent.
However, according to the National Committee of Traffic Safety, 70 per cent of helmet wearers use fake or substandard products.
Of the 278 motor-cycle victims hospitalised at the HCM City-based Cho Ray Hospital during the National Day holidays,189 suffered from brain injuries because they were wearing fake helmets, according to the hospital.
More than 60 per cent of helmets fail to provide important information, including a product code and the name of the manufacturer and the company address.
Deputy Head of HCM City's Market Watch Department, Nguyen Van Bach, said the authority had handled nearly 290 cases of fake and substandard helmets in the past five months.
"Some enterprises produce substandard helmets and stick Conformity to Regulation (CR) stamps on them to sell on the market. In other words, they deliberately produce both safe and unsafe helmets. This hinders agencies from detecting violations", Bach said.
He suggested that to overcome the problem, CR stamps must be directly issued by quality control agencies.
Lawyer Thai Van Chung said it was not easy for people to distinguish between substandard helmets and genuine ones. He proposed that instead of fining users, agencies should crack down on manufacturers and importers. — VNS