Chief of the Secretariat of the National Traffic Safety Committee Nguyen Trong Thai spoke with Nhan dan (The People) Newspaper about efforts to eliminate fake helmets in Viet Nam.
How will the campaign to handle violations of helmet safety guidelines be implemented?
The National Traffic Safety Committee set up a communication and inspection campaign to handle violations relating to the production, trading and use of helmets for motorbike drivers. The campaign aimed to strengthen the public's knowledge and awareness of obeying laws and respecting traffic laws by the people, especially the youth.
From July 1, the campaign will be carried out nationwide. Authorities will fine drivers using fake or unapproved helmets on the spot. Violations of traffic laws related to the use of unapproved helmets would attract a fine between VND100,000 or US$5 and VND200,000 or $10. Producers and traders will have to provide helmets which meet the standards.
The authorities will continuously inspect the manufacturing companies, retail shops and importers, including helmet sellers and drivers in the street. All violations will be strictly dealt with as per the law.
The campaign hasn't been implemented well in some provinces and cities. What are the shortcomings?
The weather in the northern provinces is cooler, allowing the people to wear helmets, compared with those in the southern area. While having the same environment and similar amounts of fines and sanctions, some provinces have done well while others have not. It depends on the way they implemented the campaign.
According to our survey, the campaign has been implemented well in provinces where there was close collaboration between the appropriate authorities such as the market watch, police and quality management staff. Comprehensive measures have been carried out along with the involvement of the whole political system in the campaign's implementation.
Communication always happens where tight market control measures and support policies for the people are taken. Leaders, cadres and members of organisations and unions should be the ones who obey helmet regulations and convince their friends and families to obey the traffic laws and regulations.
What results do you expect from such campaigns?
The campaign has remarkably improved the people's awareness, resulting in the increase in the number of helmet wearers, especially in the south. However, the people do not wear helmets at night in the rural, remote and urban areas. Traffic accidents increased in the rural areas during Tet (lunar new year) or holidays as they did not wear helmets.
The campaign aims to implement comprehensive measures combined with communication and patrol. It is also aims to improve the people's awareness of traffic regulations.
Viet Nam is one of the countries with the highest number of motorbikes, at 40 million. So, wearing helmets will be the most important measure to prevent and reduce traffic accidents. — VNS