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VN Register proposes ban on sleeper bus conversions

Update: May, 20/2014 - 10:43
In the inspections, 630 out of the country's more than 2,410 sleeper buses were found operating without seat belts, fire extinguishers and escape hammers. — Photo trunghocduytan

HA NOI (VNS) — The Vietnam Register has proposed that the Ministry of Transport ban turning passenger coaches into sleeper buses.

Up to 90 per cent of passenger bus accidents this year involved sleeper buses, according to the National Road Safety Committee. A nationwide inspection in March uncovered a series of violations, including safety equipment shortages and improper modifications on buses to install more beds and seats.

In the inspections, 630 out of the country's more than 2,410 sleeper buses were found operating without seat belts, fire extinguishers and escape hammers.

Chief inspector of the ministry Nguyen Van Huyen said that Ha Noi, HCM City and Thanh Hoa Province had the most violations.

In a random check of 414 sleeper buses in HCM City, inspectors discovered that 94 vehicles lacked seat belts, 20 had removed their seats for freight, 18 had installed too many beds, 47 did not have fire extinguishers and 66 lacked escape hammers.

Huyen said the inspectors had reported the results to the ministry along with proposals for stricter regulations on these vehicles.

"These buses need additional aid kits and buses must be inspected thoroughly before they leave the station," he said.

The inspectors also proposed the ministry allow buses travelling on foggy routes to install anti-fog lamps.

Sleeper buses have been operating in Viet Nam since 2007. In Ha Noi alone, a sleeper bus departs every 30 minutes.

Also included in the Viet Nam Register's proposal are requests that the ministry stipulate the size of truck containers for different kinds of cargo and ban operators from enlarging the size of containers.

Additionally, the Register sought to ban goods from being imported in second-hand trucks that modify their engines to carry overweight cargo. — VNS

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