Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Starting in July, makers and sellers of subpar quality helmets will be slapped with stiff penalties and subject to a new government resolution.
The change was discussed in a conference entitled “Capacity building for management of helmets’ quality and implementation of Resolution 87/2016,” held yesterday in HCM City.
The conference was hosted by the General Department of Standards, Metrology, and Quality, with the Việt Nam Standard and Consumers Association (Vinastas), as well as the National Committee on Traffic Safety under the National Assembly.
At the conference, helmet makers contested that the manufacturing of helmets’ foamed polymer liners is a complicated and tricky process that requires expensive machines, exceeding many small and medium-sized manufacturers’ limited financial means. Therefore, they request a mechanism for linkages between helmet manufacturers, so while these parts can be done at this factory, others can be done at another. There’s no need to demand a single manufacturer to meet all the requirements regarding machineries to be allowed to produce helmets, they argued.
Nón Sơn, a popular HCM City-based helmet maker, said there were still flaws in the regulation on handling fake helmets that need to be addressed. For example, the law states that only when the products have been finalised, or “took on the final shape of a helmet,” can authorities impose fines on makers should violations occur. Nguyễn Ngọc Tý, Nón Sơn’s CEO, said that provision ‘tied authorities’ hands’ in cases where the product is in the process of being manufactured.
Khuất Việt Hùng, Executive Vice Chairman of the National Committee of Traffic Safety, said that this year’s information dissemination campaign would mainly target the younger population, with an information campaign planned for September.
Helmet quality testing would also be carried out by traffic police force, Hùng said. Specifically, noticing substandard helmets, policemen could stop the rider and use a ‘testing tool’ to strike at the helmet. Substandard helmets will be broken easily, and new certified standards-compliant helmets would be given to the owners of the broken helmets. Of course, the wearers would not be fined, he added. Certified helmets are provided for free by benefactors, however, in limited number.
According to rough estimates, around 40 per cent of helmets used by the public and sold on the markets do not meet standard requirements. Hùng said that in the north, the presence of substandard helmets might be even larger. For that reason, Hùng called on the public to report violations in manufacturing or selling helmets to the authorities or the media.
According to the HCM City branch of the National Committee on Traffic Safety, in 2016, faulty helmets have resulted in 677 deaths and 203 injuries, each of which could have been averted if helmet quality was satisfactory. — VNS