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A crackdown long overdue

Update: April, 12/2014 - 09:47

The transport ministry will deal firmly with overloaded trucks despite objections, Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Deputy Director General of the Directorate for Roads, tells the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper

Will you please explain why checks on overloaded trucks have been stepped up nationwide since April 1?

I have to concede that in the last 10 years, the inspection of overloaded trucks in Viet Nam has been neglected. Now it is high time for us to take action to enforce the law. Controlling overloaded trucks on roads is one of several activities involved in the control of overloading, ranging from truck importation, road registration and owners' responsibility for cargo carried on trucks as well as drivers and others.

The checking of overloaded trucks by functional agencies these days has met strong opposition from quite a few groups of people as it undermines their benefits, particularly the drivers, truck owners and corrupted law enforcement officers. That's why I think it is imperative to have strong co-ordination between agencies in an effort to restore law and order and create new transportation tariffs. No doubt, during implementation procedures, the officers will face challenges, including bribery and other improper behaviour from rule breakers and even their "protectors".

The deployment of mobile weighbridge stations resulted in many complaints from transport companies and law enforcement officers. How do you respond?

Some people complained that the stations halted the flow of goods and seriously affected the national economy. However, in my opinion such a complaint only comes from small transport companies. If companies have good business strategies, I don't think their operations will be affected.

Regarding the complaints from law enforcement officers about the location for the mobile stations or the drivers' reluctance to remove cargo, these are all violations of the law.

The transportation law states clearly that it is the responsibility of violators to pay any cost incurred during the removal of excessive loads. It is also their responsibility to take care of the goods after the removal.

I understand that in the past few days, due to the strict implementation of the law, many overloaded trucks drove to the filling stations to call for help from their peers to unload the excessive cargo. These drivers don't want to be caught at the weighbridge stations.

We all know that pioneers face many difficulties and challenges. In some cases, they may even be reluctant to confront strong resistance from interest groups for overloaded trucks. But we can't accept that. Overloaded trucks destroy our roads.

At some weighbridge stations in Phu Yen and Can Tho provinces in the Mekong Delta, the light indicating when there is an excessive load didn't work. In such a case, what should law enforcement officers do?

All weighbridges provided to the country's 63 cities and provinces come from Road Project 4 of the Directorate for Roads of Viet Nam (DRVN). They have two years of warranty.

In addition, before the project commenced, the DRVN organised "training of trainers" courses for all 63 cities and provinces on how to use the equipment. The DRVN also gave them the hotlines for the equipment suppliers as well as the technical supporting units for them to contact in case of need.

I don't think the light indicator failure reported in Phu Yen and Can Tho is a big problem. There is a proverb saying "When there is a will there is a way."

I'm confident that in this fight we'll be the winners. — VNS

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