|A ferry with a single ramp carries passengers from Hai Duong Province to Quang Ninh Province. Ferries with single ramps will be permitted to return to operation if they ensure technical safety regulations and environmental protection measures. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung
HA NOI (VNS) — Ferries with only a single ramp would be allowed to carry passengers, cargo and vehicles if they met technical safety requirements and environmental protection measures, according to a new draft decree.
The decree, which was chalked out by the Ministry of Transport, stipulates that ferries with a single ramp must be registered and carry licence plates issued by authorised agencies. They must also carry life-saving equipment.
Nguyen Manh Thang, deputy head of the ministry's Science and Technology Department, said that cars needed to reverse off ferries with single ramps to disembark. This posed the risk of accidents, especially on steep wharfs.
Drivers without experience, cars with heavy cargo or sudden engine failure could lead to vehicles falling into the water, he said.
Ferry crews will be required to make sure all passengers wear life-jackets, and all cargo and vehicles must be secured properly before departure. Sick animals, chemicals and flammable substances will be banned on ferries.
Pilots will also be required to have licences.
The draft decree was drawn up after the ministry received requests from some transport departments about operating ferries with single ramps in their localities.
These ferries are said to be an effective and safe means of transport for carrying passengers and large vehicles. They use less fuel and are quicker and cheaper than double-ended ferries, so many waterway transport enterprises, especially those in rural areas where there aren't any bridges, have invested in these vessels.
In 2008, the ministry stopped registering ferries with single entrances due to safety reasons. The ministry also tightened control over vessels and only allowed them to carry cars weighing less than 3.5 tonnes.
The ministry is collecting public opinion about the draft decree, and the Viet Nam Register will be in charge of deciding which single ramp ferries receive permission to carry vehicles. — VNS