|A truck is weighed at a checkpoint in Hoa Khanh Commune, Tien Giang District. The governemnt has collected VND331 billion (US$1.5 million) in fines for weight violations since last December. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Tri.
HA NOI (VNS) — Overloaded trucks will no longer be a public concern next year, Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang said in a conference on Wednesday in Ha Noi.
"There's no such nonsense as certain people's interests getting in the way. We can do it. We have accomplished many tasks that were even more challenging," said Thang.
Weighbridges across the country have checked over 416,000 trucks since last December, of which 64,885 were fined VND331 billion (US$1.5 million) for weight violations.
The authority also temporarily banned 1,885 truck-type vehicles from traffic and 42,066 drivers had their licenses taken away, according to a joint report by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Ministry of Public Security, which organised the conference.
President of the Viet Nam Automobile Transportation Association Nguyen Van Thanh said transportation companies appreciated the stepped-up effort from the authorities but hoped for even stricter moves to stop overloaded trucks.
"It has been a problem we have had to live with for the last 30 years. We understand it is very difficult to stop," said Thanh.
In certain provinces, truck drivers even made deals with corrupt officers to avoid weighbridges, Thanh said. He proposed increasing fines for weight violations and making local authorities responsible for any overloaded trucks found in their areas of jurisdiction.
Lieutenant General Le Quy Vuong, deputy minister of the Ministry of Public Security, urged police chiefs and other high-ranking officers to join road patrol forces to set an example and boost morale.
Colonel Nguyen Trong Phuong, deputy director of the Hai Phong police, said more weighbridges were needed to cover all the traffic-heavy routes. For example, there was only one weighbridge on National Route 5, so overloaded trucks were able to use alternative routes to avoid it.
Minister Thang responded that MOT was considering equipping toll collection points with weighbridges and cameras.
Moreover, overloaded trucks will be ordered to return to their departure point instead of unloading part of their cargo as dictated in current regulations. — VNS