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Up to 80% of all helmets sold unsafe, substandard

Update: December, 28/2012 - 10:50


The Lang Son Market Watch Authority destroys more than 2,000 illegally imported helmets. Up to 80 per cent of helmets sold at markets are substandard and fail to protect road users' heads in the event of traffic accidents. — VNA/VNS Photo Song Toan
HA NOI (VNS)— Up to 80 per cent of helmets sold at markets are substandard and would not protect a rider's head in an accident, a conference heard on Wednesday.

The conference on the quality of helmets, held by the Viet Nam Red Cross and the Viet Nam-based Global Road Safety Partnership, was part of the policy-making process on helmet standards.

Vice chairman of the Viet Nam Red Cross Nguyen Huu Hong said there were, on average, 36 traffic accidents nation-wide each day, killing 30 people and injuring 28.

Statistics from Ha Noi-based Viet Nam-Germany Hospital showed that the number who suffered brain injuries due to not wearing helmets was 33.8 per cent, three times higher than the number who did.

Up to 86 per cent of cases of brain injuries in the hospital were results of traffic accidents.

Regulations on wearing helmets had been issued to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries. However, substandard helmets were among problems yet to be solved.

Nguyen The Dat of the municipal Market Watch Department said that vendors could say the helmets were being sold for cyclists, not motorcyclists.

"Even authorised agencies have difficulty responding to such claims," Dat said. "This has caused difficulties for inspectors and consumers."

Nguyen Hong Linh of the Ministry of Science and Technology's Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality said that the ministries of Science and Technology, Industry and Trade, Public Security and Transport had collaborated to draft a decree on producing, importing, trading and using standard helmets for motorbike drivers.

The decree was expected to list fines for violators and the responsibilities of relevant authorities, he said.

Figures from the Ministry of Transport showed that by the end of July, there were 35.2 million motorbikes operating nation-wide.

More than 6,160 traffic accidents overall this year had killed 5,370 people and injured 4,500 others. More than 70 per cent of the accidents involved motorbikes.

It has been estimated that wearing helmets could reduce fatalities by 40 per cent. — VNS

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