Waterway vessels circulating in Bến Tre River. The National Traffic Safety Committee has asked transport authorities at all levels to strictly enforce technical safety regulations for waterway transport.– VNA/VNS Photo Đình Huệ
HCM CITY (VNS) — Many waterway vessels operate without a licence and have failed periodic technical safety inspections, threatening water transport safety nationwide.
In the southernmost province of Cà Mau, thousands of waterway vessels, mostly household-owned boats and boats of unlicensed boat stations, do not have a licence.
Most of them either have not been inspected for technical safety or have expired inspection certifications, Người Lao Động (the Labourer) newspaper has reported.
Because of busy work schedules as well as costs, many residents in the area have not registered their vessels to be inspected for technical safety, according to Cà Mau agencies.
They said that the national technical standard regulations included in the Ministry of Transport’s Circular No. 06/2013 were not suited to the waterway vehicles in Cà Mau.
For instance, the circular regulates that a composite boat that wants to be certified for technical safety inspection must have an original document for the technical design, but most composite boats in Cà Mau have been mass-produced and were based on models of previous boats.
Lê Trung Thái, deputy director of the Cà Mau Department of Transport’s Registration and Port Authority Centre, said his centre was reviewing the number of waterway vehicles that have not registered for technical safety inspections.
The centre will petition the Việt Nam Register’s (VR) Inland Waterway Boat Management Bureau to allow waterway vessels that were built before 2015 to be inspected under old regulations, he said.
Waterway vessels built after 2015 have to be inspected in accordance to Circular No. 06/2013.
In the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Đồng Tháp, many unlicensed or licensed boat stations transport automobiles but do not have sufficient conditions to do so, according to the province’s Traffic Safety Committee.
The Đồng Tháp Province Traffic Safety Committee has ordered agencies to review boat stations that do not meet traffic safety by the end of April.
Nguyễn Văn Dương, chairman of the Đồng Tháp Province People’s Committee and head of the Traffic Safety Committee, said: “From now to April 30, if boat stations and waterway vessels do not have sufficient conditions for being granted an operating licence, competent agencies will be determined to end their operation.”
The heads of traffic safety committees at all levels have to be directly responsible for solving this issue at their localities, he said.
In the northern province of Quảng Ninh, there are about 500 tourism boats operating in Hạ Long and Bái Tử Long bays. Most of them are composite-coated wooden boats.
Most traffic accidents and fires were caused by boats that have operated for more than 10 years, according to the province’s local authorities.
Lê Quang Tùng, deputy chairman of the Quảng Ninh Province People’s Committee, said: “Under the plan to develop boats, the province will gradually replace wooden boats with larger steel boats.”
Đỗ Trung Học, head of the VR’s Inland Waterway Boat Management Bureau, said the number of waterway vehicles that registered for technical safety inspections had reached only 60 per cent.
However, the number of waterway vessels registered for regular technical safety inspection was only about 30 per cent, he said.
As of February, the country had more than 18,900 boats that transported fewer than 12 people each. Of the figure, 6,800 had expired certifications for technical safety, according to the VR.
The National Traffic Safety Committee has asked the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Public Security, relevant agencies and local traffic safety committees to strictly enforce technical safety regulations for road and waterway transport.
It also asked the Ministry of Transport to instruct the VR to publicise the list of vehicles and vessels that have their expired technical safety certificates.
The Ministry of Public Security will be responsible to ask the waterway police to work with the VR and agencies to find and punish violators and to inform people about the necessity to register for licences and technical safety inspections. – VNS